Blackheath to Little Hartley Upgrade


Project overview

Transport for NSW (Transport) has investigated widening the Great Western Highway between Blackheath and Little Hartley to two lanes in each direction.

The proposed Blackheath to Little Hartley Tunnel Upgrade is currently paused awaiting confirmation of funding by both the Australian and State Governments. 

Latest news

Blackheath to Little Hartley Environmental Impact Statement 

The Blackheath to Little Hartley Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was available for consultation from 18 January to 1 March 2023.  
Transport is continuing to finalise investigations associated with the EIS and a Response to Submissions Report will be completed. 


Blackheath to Little Hartley Interactive portal

To learn more about the planning undertaken for this project, view our interactive portal for more information.


Project information


Between March 2019 and March 2023 Transport for NSW investigated an upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Blackheath and Little Hartley. 

Transport investigated a wide range of upgrade options and the upgrade option proposed was a tunnel bypass of all surface roads between Blackheath and Little Hartley, including twin tunnels with two lanes in each tunnel. 

In 2019 the NSW Government committed $2.5 billion towards the upgrade of the Great Western Highway corridor between Katoomba and Lithgow. 

In late 2022 and early 2023 the NSW and Australian Governments deferred the majority of this funding for two years.


  • Two identical (twin) tunnels, one eastbound and one westbound, around 11 kilometres long, generally to the south of the existing Great Western Highway and Mount Victoria.
  • Two lanes of traffic flow in each tunnel, to separate traffic and increase safety.
  • Tunnel operation facilities including ventilation systems, drainage management, signage, lighting, and emergency evacuation systems.

Community information

Community consultations

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 on a long tunnel with various portal options. Consultation continued until 28 November. The engagement included three community information sessions, held online 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.

You can view or download the community consultation summary report (PDF, 5.52Mb).

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).

Frequentley asked questions (FAQs)

Blackheath Co-Design Committee

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 documents

Blackheath Co-Design Committee meeting minutes


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Project documents

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Community notifications

Project notifications


Fact sheets

Contact us

For further information about this project, please contact:

Phone: 1800 953 777


Post: Great Western Highway - PO Box 334, Parkes NSW 2870.