Baseline air quality testing through Blue Mountains as part of Great Western Highway upgrade


17 August 2021

Air quality monitoring stations will be installed this month at three locations in the Blue Mountains as part of the environmental assessment of Australia’s longest road tunnel project.

Transport for NSW Director West Alistair Lunn said installing monitoring stations along the proposed tunnel bypass section of the Katoomba to Lithgow upgrade will provide information on existing air quality levels.

“We are all proud of the unique environment of the Blue Mountains and its combination of plants, animals and landscape and we intend to do all we can to ensure the upgrade of the Great Western Highway through this area has the least possible impact,” Mr Lunn said.

“To do this, we need to obtain baseline data about the Blue Mountains environment, including air quality.

“Air quality monitoring stations will measure the concentration of air pollutants, like nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter in the air, as well as weather conditions, including temperature, wind direction and speed.

“Data from these monitoring stations will help us prepare the Environmental Impact Statement for the Great Western Highway upgrade from Blackheath to Little Hartley.”

The stations will be installed at the western end of Evans Lookout Road, near the utilities power pole at Browntown Oval and near the safety camera gantry at Little Harley.

“These monitoring stations will provide valuable data that will allow us to understand existing air quality and weather conditions near the tunnel,” Mr Lunn said.

“It’s important to note that the locations of these monitoring stations don’t necessarily indicate the final alignment of the upgrade Great Western Highway.

“The locations for the monitoring stations have been selected on their ability to provide the best environmental data in this information-gathering phase of the project.”

Site preparations for installation of the air monitoring stations will start this week.

For more information on the Great Western Highway upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow, visit