Artist impression: Great Western Highway, view from Pulpit Hill looking west

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program – Katoomba to Blackheath

Together, the Australian and NSW Governments have committed more than $2.5 billion towards the East and West sections of the Great Western Highway Upgrade, between Katoomba and Blackheath, and between Little Hartley and Lithgow, respectively.

The Katoomba to Lithgow duplication will provide major economic and safety benefits. It will improve the connection between Central West NSW and Sydney, reduce congestion, improve resilience and freight productivity, and provide a safer and more reliable journey for thousands of residents, commuters, tourists and freight operators who travel in, around and through the Blue Mountains.

Transport for NSW is proposing to widen the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Blackheath to two lanes in each direction.

The upgrade is split into two sections:

  • Katoomba to Medlow Bath between Rowan Lane, Katoomba and Bellevue Crescent, Medlow Bath (about 3.5 kilometres)
  • Medlow Bath to Blackheath between Station Street, Medlow Bath and Tennyson Road, Blackheath (about 1.8 kilometres)

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Concept Design for the proposed Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade (East) has now closed. The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and concept design for the Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade (East Section) upgrade was released for community consultation on 15 May 2022, with consultation continuing to 19 June 2022. Transport is preparing a Submissions Report summarising and providing a response to submissions received during the REF display period, which is expected to be released in late 2022. Project information and the full REF can be found on the online portal.

To view the project animation, please visit the online portal.

Latest news

APR 2022

APR 2022Facts on Freight

View information on freight in the Blue Mountains .

MAR 2022

MAR 2022Review of Environmental Factors

The Review of Environmental Factors for the Great Western Highway Project - Medlow Bath Upgrade was displayed from 27 July – 5 September 2021.

Following liaison with key local stakeholders, including Blue Mountains City Council, environmental assessment for the Great Western Highway duplication between Katoomba and Blackheath (East) will be considered and determined at once to capture all the potential impacts of the upgrade between the two Blue Mountains townships, including Medlow Bath.

This means that the determination of the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for Medlow Bath and the release of the Submissions Report to this REF will be held until the REF for the Katoomba to Blackheath section of the upgrade has completed its display.

Transport for NSW plans to exhibit the REF for the East section of the highway upgrade, between the towns of Katoomba and Medlow Bath and Medlow Bath and Blackheath, in the first half of 2022.

For more information, please read the March 2022 Community Update (PDF, 345Kb).

FEB 2022

FEB 2022Environmental assessment for Blue Mountains communities

The environmental assessments for the Great Western Highway duplication between Katoomba and Blackheath will be considered and determined together to capture all potential impacts of the upgrade.

View the media release for more information.

Project information

In March 2019, the NSW Government committed $2.5 billion towards the upgrade of the road corridor between Katoomba and Lithgow and Transport began consultation on strategic options for this upgrade.

In the 2021 Federal budget, the Australian Government committed $2.03 billion towards the delivery of the eastern and western sections of the upgrade, including the section between Katoomba and Blackheath.

Transport investigated a wide range of upgrade options between Katoomba and Lithgow, to make sure we deliver a connection that minimises environmental impacts, supports local economies, improves travel times and safety and is financially responsible.

A range of options connecting these towns were progressively evaluated against viability criteria.

The result of the options selection process was to progress a surface upgrade of the highway between Katoomba and Lithgow, including duplication of the existing roadway, improved intersections and facilities and an upgraded active transport link through the mountains.

Traffic modelling indicates that approximately 40 per cent of traffic on the Highway between Katoomba and Little Hartley is traveling between Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mount Victoria and/or the Darling Causeway.

  • Improve road alignment
  • Water quality
  • Recognising historical significance
  • Improve safety
  • Connecting communities
  • New pathways for active Transport
  • Better, safer and more reliable trips

Key features of the Katoomba to Medlow Bath section include:

  • Widening around 3.5 kilometres of the Great Western Highway between Rowan Lane in Katoomba and Bellevue Crescent in Medlow Bath to provide two lanes in each direction
  • Connections to the Medlow Bath Upgrade
  • New concrete twin bridges (about 400 metres long) over the valley from Pulpit Hill near Explorers Road
  • Upgraded intersections at Nellies Glen Road, Explorers Road and Foy Avenue
  • Improved visitor parking at the Pulpit Hill heritage= interpretation area
  • A new truck stopping area to the west of Explorers Road
  • Upgrade of the Great Blue Mountains Trail to maintain active transport connections between Katoomba and Medlow Bath
  • Providing new formalised bus stops on the highway at Nellies Glen Road (westbound), Explorers Road (eastbound) and Foy Avenue
  • Upgraded and new drainage infrastructure and water quality controls

Key features of the Medlow Bath to Blackheath section include:

  • Widening around 1.8 kilometres of the Great Western Highway between the existing rail overbridge in Medlow Bath to about 200 metres east of Tennyson Road in Blackheath to provide two lanes in each direction
  • Connections to the existing highway, providing two lanes in each direction
  • Road connection ‘stubs’ for the future Great Western Highway tunnel bypass
  • Relocation of the electrical sectioning hut in the rail corridor from next to the highway opposite Coachhouse Lane, on to Station Street
  • Extension of the Great Blue Mountains Trail alongside the National Park and Great Western Highway between Medlow Bath and Blackheath
  • A new truck stopping area about one kilometre west of Medlow Bath
  • Upgraded and new drainage infrastructure and water quality controls
  • Investigating opportunities to extend utility relocations and access trails to connect to Blackheath

Transport is now seeking your feedback on the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and concept design for the proposed Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade.

Your input is important in helping to design the best upgrade we can for the Katoomba to Blackheath section. We invite you to review the proposed plans, understand the environmental impacts and have your say.

Formal submissions on the REF and concept design are invited until Sunday 19 June 2022 and we encourage you to take the opportunity to have your say. Visit our virtual consultation room to leave feedback or register for an information session.

Medlow Bath Upgrade Review of Environmental Factors consultation July – September 2021

The Review of Environmental Factors and Concept Design for the Medlow Bath Upgrade was released for community consultation on 27 July, with consultation continuing to 5 September 2021.

The engagement included six community information sessions, held online in order to comply with advice from NSW Health and Covid-19 restrictions. These sessions were attended by 146 people in total.

A number of targeted information sessions were also held with local businesses, groups and associations and a number of phone consultations were also held.

During the consultation period, we received 348 formal submissions from 250 individual members of the community, businesses and stakeholders. The Submissions Report to the Medlow Bath REF will be released when the REF is determined.

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).

Project documents

Community updates

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File Title Size
Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade - East Community Update

May 2022 Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade - East Community Update

11.7Mb
Medlow Bath and East REFs to be determined together

March 2022 Medlow Bath and East REFs to be determined together

345Kb
Medlow Bath Upgrade Review of Environmental Factors community update

July 2021 Medlow Bath Upgrade Review of Environmental Factors community update

2.2Mb
Explorers tree community update

March 2020 Explorers tree community update

734Kb
Medlow Bath consultation community update

August 2020 Medlow Bath consultation community update

1.27Mb
Community consultation report community update

May 2020 Community consultation report community update

724Kb
Katoomba to Lithgow community update

February 2020 Katoomba to Lithgow community update

192Kb
Katoomba to Lithgow strategic consultation community update

November 2019 Katoomba to Lithgow strategic consultation community update

5.82Mb

Project notifications

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August 2021 project notification

Field investigations in Medlow Bath from Thursday 19 August to Sunday 31 October 2021.

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August 2021 project notification

Geotechnical investigations in Medlow Bath from Monday 6 September 2021.

331Kb
August 2021 project notification

Field investigations in Medlow Bath from Thursday 19 August to Sunday 31 October 2021.

402Kb
August 2021 project notification

Geotechnical investigations in Medlow Bath from Monday 6 September 2021.

331Kb
May 2021 project notification

Safety Upgrade works, Medlow Bath, from Wednesday 5 May.

1.17Mb
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
February 2021 project notification

Medlow Bath Rail corridor investigation work.

505Kb
December 2020 project notification

Medlow Bath Safety Works.

371Kb

Media releases

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15 May 2022

Have your say on the Katoomba to Blackheath Great Western Highway upgrade

0
22 February 2022

New approach for environmental assessment for Blue Mountains communities.

27.8Kb
31 August 2021

Preservation of Aboriginal heritage a key part of Blue Mountains Highway upgrade.

26.7Kb
27 August 2021

Medlow Bath highway design consultion extended.

25.2Kb
27 July 2021

Community shapes refined design for Medlow Bath Highway upgrade.

24.97Kb
14 June 2021

Great Western Highway upgrade powering ahead.

26.96Kb
14 June 2021

Safer passage through Medlow Bath ahead of full highway upgrade.

25.7Kb
4 June 2021

Archaeological dig to explore Aboriginal connection to Blue Mountains.

25.6Kb
18 December 2020

Contracts awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade works.

23.95Kb
17 December 2020

Safety drives highway upgrade at Medlow Bath.

24.6Kb
28 September 2020

Contract awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade through Medlow Bath.

25.8Kb
6 August 2020

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

24.8Kb
7 June 2020

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

26.2Kb
13 May 2020

Locals have their say on Great Western Highway upgrade.

25.2Kb
7 November 2019

Have your say on Great Western Highway.

26.1Kb
11 March 2019

Green light for $2.5 billion Great western highway duplication.

25.1Kb

 

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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