Great Western Highway looking towards Hartley Valley

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program - Katoomba to Lithgow

The NSW Government is investing $2.5 billion towards upgrading the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow to a four lane carriageway. Once completed, the upgrade will reduce congestion and deliver safer, more efficient and reliable journeys for those travelling in, around and through the Blue Mountains, while also better connecting communities in the Central West.

Info graphic

Latest news

MAY 2021

MAY 2021Australia's longest road tunnel proposed for

Great Western Highway

Investigations are now underway to make an 11-kilometre tunnel the central component of an upgraded Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow, forming what would be Australia's longest road tunnel.

For more information please see the latest media release.

MAY 2021

MAY 2021Blackheath to Little Hartley Tunnel Investigations

Community Update

Transport for NSW are now investigating the feasibility of a longer tunnel between Blackheath and Little Hartley as part of the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program.

A longer tunnel could deliver further benefits for the residents of the Blue Mountains and the Central West. The proposed tunnel would begin at a portal south of Evans Lookout Road, in Blackheath, and emerge at the base of Mount Victoria, at Little Hartley, bypassing both Blackheath and Mount Victoria.

For more information view or download the Community Update (PDF, 333Kb).

MAY 2021

MAY 2021Blackheath Route Options Report

Community Update

The NSW Government has determined that the long tunnel is the preferred option for the Great Western Highway upgrade at Blackheath, using an entry portal south of Evans Lookout Road. The Sutton Park southern portal is no longer being considered.

The recommendation to proceed with the tunnel portal to the south of Evans Lookout Road in a section of National Park is included in the Blackheath Route Options Community Consultation Summary Report (PDF, 5.52Mb), and reflects strong community feedback on their preferred option.

For more information view or download the Community Update (PDF, 432Kb).

MAR 2021

MAR 2021Investigation work for the Great Western Highway Upgrade

Over the next five months, we will be carrying out investigation work in the Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, Little Hartley, Hartley, South Bowenfels and Bowenfels areas.

Our work includes taking water and soil samples using a drill mounted on a truck, installing noise monitors, biodiversity studies, traffic studies and environmental surveys.

Our work hours will be between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and 7am to 2pm on Saturdays. We will provide advance notification if we need to do any work outside of these hours.

Between Katoomba and Blackheath there will be up to five shifts of night work between 24 March and 15 April, however this may change due to weather and environmental conditions. Work hours for night work will be between 8pm and 5am Sunday to Friday, with work lasting approximately 3 hours.

For more information please see:

If you have any questions about the works, please contact the project team on 1800 953 777 or gwhd@transport.nsw.gov.au.

FEB 2021

FEB 2021Medlow Bath safety works

Immediate safety works are planned at Bellevue Crescent and Foy Avenue as part of the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program. The early safety works are being delivered in response to community feedback.

Work will start in January 2021 to widen the highway at each intersection and provide a dedicated right hand turn lane and through lane.

This work will provide an immediate safety benefit to local traffic at Medlow Bath, which will be further enhanced when longer term work to duplicate the Highway through the town starts in 2022.

View the plans for the safety upgrades map (PDF, 203Kb).

Read more about the safety upgrades here in December 2020 notification (PDF, 371Kb).

Project information

The Great Western Highway Upgrade Program is an infrastructure program of national importance. It will make the Blue Mountains and the Central West and Orana more attractive places to live, and will unlock the potential of regional NSW.

The NSW Government has progressively upgraded sections of the Great Western Highway to make it safer and more reliable for all road users. This upgrade will complete the final 34 km connection of a modern dual-carriageway link across the Blue Mountains.

The Great Western Highway Upgrade Program consists of:

  • Medlow Bath Upgrade
    An upgrade and duplication of the existing surface road corridor with intersection improvements and a new pedestrian bridge.
    We anticipate that the Review of Environmental Factors will be exhibited for consultation in June 2021, and construction is set to begin late 2022.
  • East Upgrade - Katoomba to Medlow Bath and Medlow Bath to Blackheath
    Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Blackheath.
    We anticipate that the Review of Environmental Factors will be exhibited for consultation in October 2021.
  • West Upgrade - Little Hartley to Lithgow
    Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Little Hartley.
    We anticipate that the Review of Environmental Factors will be exhibited for consultation in October 2021.
  • Central Upgrade - Blackheath to Little Hartley
    Construction of a tunnel bypass of Blackheath and Mount Victoria, with connectivity between the two proposed tunnels currently under further investigation.
    We anticipate that the Environmental Impact Statement will be exhibited for consultation mid 2022.

Blackheath tunnel options consultation October - November 2020

The preferred strategic route option for the bypass at Blackheath was released for consultation on 12 October 2020, focusing upon a long tunnel with various portal options. Consultation continued until 28 November. The engagement included three community information sessions, held online in order to comply with advice from NSW Health and Covid-19 restrictions. 241 people booked into the online consultation sessions, while a further 125 people watched the recorded sessions at a later date. Seven phone consultations were also held, at the request of individual residents. More than 6211 people visited the online virtual consultation portal and more than 2486 items of feedback were received by the project team. A community consultation summary report will be released in the first part of 2021.

Medlow Bath upgrade consultation June - August 2020

The strategic design for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway through Medlow Bath was released for community consultation on 29 June, with consultation continuing to 31 August 2020. The engagement included eight community information sessions, held online in order to comply with advice from NSW Health and Covid-19 restrictions. The sessions were attended by 70 people. A number of targeted information sessions were also held with local businesses, groups and associations and a number of phone consultations were also held. More than 850 items of feedback were received by the project team.You can view or download the community consultation summary report (PDF, 3.7Mb).

Katoomba to Lithgow strategic design consultation November - December 2019

The strategic design for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway from Katoomba to Lithgow was released for community consultation on 07 November 2019, with consultation continuing to 16 December 2019. The engagement included nine community information sessions, two pop up displays and one public meeting held along the corridor at locations including Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, Hartley and Lithgow. The sessions were attended by 1350 people and 1759 items of feedback were received by the project team. You can view or download the community consultation summary report (PDF, 18.5Mb).

The Blackheath Co-Design Committee (BCC) was formed by Transport for NSW in March 2020, following feedback from the community. The Committee included stakeholder group representatives, selected community representatives, and representatives from the Blue Mountains City Council and emergency services.

The BCC was not a decision making body, but the outcome of the BCC is an important input into the Government's decision-making process for determining a preferred route option and design as the program progresses.

The Committee's unanimously preferred option was for a long tunnel underneath Blackheath.

Blackheath Co-Design Committee Meeting Minutes

View or download:

Project documents

Project notifications

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File Title Size
April 2021 project notification

Geotechnical investigation work on the Great Western Highway in Medlow Bath.

280Kb
March 2021 project notification

Investigation work on the Great Western Highway from Katoomba to Blackheath.

145Kb
March 2021 project notification

Investigation work on the Great Western Highway from Little Hartley to Lithgow.

166Kb
February 2021 project notification

Medlow Bath Rail corridor investigation work.

505Kb
January 2021 project notification

Geotechnical investigation work between Blackheath and Little Hartley.

172Kb
December 2020 project notification

Medlow Bath Safety Works.

371Kb

Media releases

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File Title Size
3 May 2021

Australia’s longest road tunnel proposed for Great Western Highway Upgrade

39.2Kb
3 March 2021

Doing the groundwork for highway upgrade

36.04Kb
18 February 2021

Highway history to be preserved for future generations

35.9Kb
18 December 2020

Contracts awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade works

24.2Kb
17 December 2020

Safety drives highway upgrade at Medlow Bath

24.9Kb
30 October 2020

More time to have your say on Blackheath tunnel

24.95Kb
12 October 2020

Tunnel options best fit for Blackheath

24.7Kb
1 October 2020

Heading west this long weekend? Making your journey home faster and safer

24.8Kb
28 September 2020

Contract awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade through Medlow Bath

26.1Kb
6 August 2020

Medlow Bath residents have more time to consider Great Western Highway design

25.1Kb
7 June 2020

Medlow Bath residents invited to have their say on Great Western Highway design

26.5Kb
4 June 2020

Two possible bypasses of Blackheath considered by committee

25.4Kb
10 June 2020

Great Western Highway upgrade west of Lithgow

24.2Kb
13 May 2020

Locals have their say on Great Western Highway upgrade

25.5Kb
28 February 2020

Blackheath locals to help co-design Great Western Highway upgrade

25.3Kb
3 December 2019

Blackheath community invited to meeting to learn more about the Great Western Highway upgrade

25.4Kb
7 November 2019

Have your say on Great Western Highway

26.4Kb
11 March 2019

Green light for $2.5 billion Great western highway duplication

25.4Kb

 

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact our project team:

Phone: 1800 953 777

Email: gwhd@transport.nsw.gov.au

Post: Great Western Highway Upgrade Program - PO Box 2332, Orange NSW 2800

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