Artist’s representation Great Western Highway, east of Baaners Lane looking SE

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program – Little Hartley to Lithgow

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 (Transport) will upgrade around 14 kilometres of the Great Western Highway between Little Hartley and Lithgow to a safer, four-lane divided carriageway.

The Little Hartley to Lithgow upgrade has now been approved with the exception of land currently reserved in the National Parks Estate. Transport will approve this section if a National Parks revocation Bill passes NSW Parliament.

The project will be managed by Transport and jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments.

A construction contract for the initial stage of works at Coxs River Road is expected to be awarded in late 2022.

Latest news

MAY 2022

MAY 2022New flyover interchange

Coxs River Road interchange to be the new gateway to the central west

A new flyover interchange on the Great Western Highway at Coxs River Road will change the face of the gateway to the NSW Central West.

View the media release for more information.

APR 2022

APR 2022Facts on Freight

View information on freight in the Blue Mountains .

DEC 2021

DEC 2021More time for feedback on Little Hartley to Lithgow plans

Community members will have more time to have a say on the environmental assessment and concept design for the western section of the transformative Great Western Highway upgrade between Little Hartley and Lithgow.

View the media release for more information.

NOV 2021

NOV 2021Have your say on the Great Western Highway upgrade

The community is invited to have its say on the environmental assessment and concept design for the West section of the transformative Great Western Highway upgrade between Little Hartley and Lithgow.

View the media release for more information.

Project information

The NSW Government first announced an upgrade from Mount Victoria to Lithgow in May 2008.

Transport worked closely with the community from 2008 to 2013 to develop the concept design for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Mount Victoria and Lithgow.

The local community was involved in consultation sessions, workshops and field surveys to help determine a preferred upgrade route. A concept design was completed in 2013 and the selected road corridor was reserved in the Local Environmental Plans for the Blue Mountains and Lithgow City councils.

In March 2019, the NSW Government committed $2.5 billion towards upgrading the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow. Transport consulted with the local community along the entire corridor in November and December 2019.

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 Little Hartley and Lithgow.

Throughout 2020/21 the project team consulted with residents living near major intersections on the highway between Little Hartley and Lithgow to further refine and improve elements of the concept design. This consultation resulted in improvements to the concept design completed in 2013.

The broader community and other stakeholders throughout NSW were invited to provide comment on the Little Hartley to Lithgow REF and concept design from 23 November 2021 to 16 January 2022. Feedback provided is summarised and responded to in the Submissions Report and will be used to refine and improve the design further.

The Little Hartley to Lithgow upgrade will use modern design standards to improve safety by separating carriageways, reducing gradients and straightening curves as much as possible.

Two lanes in either direction will provide opportunities to overtake safely and allow installation of median treatments, which help prevent head on collisions. A third westbound lane on River Lett Hill will provide opportunities to overtake slower vehicles safely.

Intersections with local roads will be upgraded to include deceleration and acceleration lanes for safer entry and exit from the highway. Additional local access and service roads will be provided, reducing the need for local traffic to travel along the highway. The number of right turn movements across the highway, which increase the risk of an accident, will be reduced from approximately 50 to seven.

Crash reduction analysis indicates the upgrade would reduce the number of crashes on the  Great Western Highway between Little Hartley and Lithgow by 57 per cent.

Key features of the concept design include:

  • upgrade of around 14 kilometres of the Great Western Highway between Little Hartley and Lithgow to a safer four lane divided highway
  • provision of service roads for local traffic
  • safer, controlled access onto the highway
  • provision of two heavy/light vehicle rest areas
  • new bridges to allow safer, separated intersections for local traffic
  • upgrade of the existing bridge over River Lett
  • provision of a westbound climbing (third) lane on River Lett Hill

An early works program will involve relocation of utility services at Coxs River Road prior to construction commencing. Road works at Coxs River Road are expected to start in early 2023.

We will continue to build and maintain relationships with the community and stakeholders throughout all phases of the Little Hartley to Lithgow upgrade, and will continue to update the community as the project progresses.

Little Hartley to Lithgow (West Section) Review of Environmental Factors consultation November 2021 – January 2022

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and concept design for the Little Hartley to Lithgow (West Section) upgrade was released for community consultation on 23 November 2021, with consultation continuing to 16 January 2022.

The engagement included six community information sessions, which were a mixture of online and COVIDSafe face-to-face sessions. Collectively, 154 people attended the sessions, with some people attending two or more sessions. For those unable to attend an online or face-to-face session, phone consultations were offered and encouraged.

During the consultation period, we received 203 formal submissions from 188 members of the community and stakeholders. You can view or download the consultation report (PDF, 20Mb).

Concept design consultation – 2020-2021

Throughout 2020/21 the project team consulted with residents living near major intersections on the highway between Little Hartley and Lithgow to further refine and improve elements of the concept design.

Consultation primarily focused on improving road safety and intersection treatments, ensuring a high level of local access for residents, and early engagement with affected property owners. This resulted in improvements to the concept design completed in 2013.

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).

Mount Victoria to Lithgow consultation – 2008-2013

Transport worked closely with the community from 2008 to 2013 to develop the concept design for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Mount Victoria and Lithgow. The local community was involved in consultation sessions, workshops and field surveys to help determine a preferred upgrade route.

As part of the concept development, a corridor through Newnes Plateau was investigated but was ruled out as it required land needed by the Department of Defence at Marangaroo. Other alignments to the north and south were also considered, but were much longer and the terrain more challenging than the preferred option through the Hartley Valley.

View or download the Mount Victoria to Lithgow reports.

Project documents

Project notifications

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March 2022 project notification

Geotechnical investigations from Little Hartley to Lithgow from 14 March.

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August 2021 project notification

Air quality monitoring station installation in Blackheath, Mount Victoria and Little Hartley from Monday 16 August to Monday 13 September 2021.

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March 2021 project notification

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

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Media releases

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22 April 2022

Coxs River Road interchange to be the new gateway to the central west

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13 December 2021

More time for feedback on Little Hartley to Lithgow plans.

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23 November 2022

Have your say on the Great Western Highway upgrade from Little Hartley to Lithgow.

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31 August 2021

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

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14 June 2021

Great Western Highway upgrade powering ahead.

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4 June 2021

Archaeological dig to explore Aboriginal connection to Blue Mountains.

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18 December 2020

Contracts awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade works.

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13 May 2020

Locals have their say on Great Western Highway upgrade.

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7 November 2019

Have your say on Great Western Highway.

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11 March 2019

Green light for $2.5 billion Great Western Highway duplication.

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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 334, Parkes NSW 2870

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