Katoomba to Lithgow - Great Western Highway Upgrade Program

Reviewed

Project overview

Together, the Australian and NSW Governments are investing more than $4.5 billion towards upgrading the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow.

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.

 

The Great Western Highway Upgrade Program is progressing, and we are currently consulting on updated concept designs for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway between the base of Mount Victoria and Coxs River Road, Little Hartley, and at the entry to the proposed Blackheath to Little Hartley tunnel portal at Blackheath.

Katoomba to Blackheath - Katoomba to Lithgow

project

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.

Blackheath to Little Hartley - Katoomba to Lithgow - Great Western Highway Upgrade Program

project

Please be sure to sign up to our ENews list so that you never miss an update about the project. Together, the Australian and NSW Govern ...

Blackheath to Little Hartley - Katoomba to Lithgow - Great Western Highway Upgrade Program

project

Please be sure to sign up to our ENews list so that you never miss an update about the project. Together, the Australian and NSW Govern ...

Latest news

Dec 2022 - Medlow Bath Pedestrian Bridge Design Briefings

Transport for NSW is holding the first meeting with selected local representatives to discuss heritage values to be incorporated into the Medlow Bath Pedestrian Bridge design.

The team will be available at the below venues to discuss heritage values with the wider community:

Medlow Bath Railway Station – 4pm-7pm 14th December 2022
Potbelly at Medlow Café – 8am-11am 17th December 2022

Oct 2022 - Review of Environmental Factors (REF) consultation

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond and make submissions to the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) consultation for the Medlow Bath and Katoomba to Blackheath (East section) upgrades.

Both the Katoomba to Blackheath (East section) and Medlow Bath upgrades have now been approved, with the Medlow Bath section to be the first section of the highway to be upgraded. The project will managed by Transport and funded by the Australian and NSW Governments.

The Submissions Reports and Community Consultation Reports for both sections are now available on the project website portals at nswroads.work/gwheast and nswroads.work/gwhmedlow

Project information and the full REFs and Submissions Reports for both the Katoomba to Blackheath (East section) and Medlow Bath can be found on the online portals.

 

Subscribe to project updates

We will send regular email updates to people interested in our two projects.

Email us on gwhd@transport.nsw.gov.au to be added to our subscription list or phone 1800 953 777.

 

Project information

Background

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.
  • Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade
    Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Blackheath.
  • Blackheath to Little Hartley Upgrade
    Construction of a tunnel bypass of Blackheath and Mount Victoria, with portals at Blackheath and Little Hartley.
  • Little Hartley to Lithgow Upgrade
    Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Little Hartley.
  • Coxs River Road Upgrade
    An upgrade and duplication of the existing surface road corridor including a road bridge at Coxs River Road.

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 Meeting Minutes

View or download:

Awarded tenders

  • Katoomba to Blackheath (East section)– Aurecon have been appointed to refine the design and prepare environmental assessments for this section.
  • Medlow Bath- MRB have been appointed to refine the design and prepare environmental assessments for this section.
  • Blackheath to Little Hartley (Central section)- Aecom have been appointed to prepare the environmental impact statement for this section. Joint venture AECOM / Aurecon (AAJV) were selected to work on the technical investigations and design of the tunnel.
  • Little Hartley to Lithgow (West section) - Jacobs Arcadis Joint Venture have been appointed to refine the design and prepare environmental assessments for this section


Community information

Community consultations

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Transport is committed to engaging with the community and stakeholders at all stages of the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program from early planning through to design, construction, operations and maintenance.

Read the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program Stakeholder Engagement Strategy.

Katoomba to Blackheath (East Section) Review of Environmental Factors consultation May - June 2022

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Concept Design for the proposed Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade has now closed. The REF and concept design for the Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade was released for community consultation on 15 May 2022, with consultation continuing to 19 June 2022. The engagement included six community information sessions, which were a mixture of online and face-to-face sessions. Transport is preparing a Submissions Report summarising and providing responses 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.

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.

Submissions have been categorised and formally responded to in the Little Hartley to Lithgow (West Section) Submissions Report. Transport has also prepared a Consultation Report summarising the community engagement carried out during the REF display period. Both reports were released on 29 June and can be viewed and downloaded from the project interactive web portal at nswroads.work/gwhwestconsult

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.

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

Transport has conducted extensive investigations into the feasibility of a tunnel between Blackheath and Little Hartley. Investigations have confirmed that two identical (twin) tunnels, one eastbound and one westbound, around 11 kilometres long would deliver more benefits for the environment, the community and road users than two shorter tunnels beneath the villages of Blackheath and Mount Victoria.

Transport will further develop the preliminary concept design which will be used as the basis for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Department of Planning and Environment will place the EIS on display and invite community feedback in the second half of 2022.

The EIS exhibition is your opportunity to have your say on the development of the Blackheath to Little Hartley tunnel.

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).

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Community notifications

 Project documents

Some documents on this page may not comply with accessibility requirements (WCAG).

If you are having trouble accessing information in these documents, please contact us.

 

Project notifications

Blackheath Co-Design Committee

Consultation Reports

Factsheets

Media releases

  • 14 September 2022

    Countdown to the start of work on Great Western Highway upgrade.

  • 18 August 2022
    Seeds for tomorrow's Great Western Highway.

  • 28 July 2022
    Noise mitigation for Medlow Bath homes on the upgrade route.

  • 30 June 2022
    Extra protections for River Lett Platypus population as part of Great Western Highway upgrade plans.

  • 15 May 2022
    Great Western Highway upgrade drives jobs bonanza.
  • 15 May 2022
    Have your say on the Katoomba to Blackheath Great Western Highway upgrade.
  • 15 May 2022

    Australia's longest road tunnel locked in for Blue Mountains.

  • 22 April 2022
    Coxs River Road interchange to be the new gateway to the central west.

  • 22 February 2022
    New approach for environmental assessment for Blue Mountains communities.

  • 13 December 2021
    More time for feedback on Little Hartley to Lithgow plans.

  • 23 November 2021
    Have your say on the Great Western Highway upgrade from Little Hartley to Lithgow.

  • 17 November 2021
    Flora and fauna field work starts along future GWH tunnel corridor.

  • 14 September 2021
    Historic Blue Mountains tunnel a step closer.

  • 31 August 2021
    Preservation of Aboriginal heritage a key part of Blue Mountains Highway upgrade.

  • 27 August 2021
    Medlow Bath highway design consultion extended.

  • 17 August 2021
    Baseline air quality testing through Blue Mountains as part of great Western Highway upgrade.

  • 27 July 2021
    Community shapes refined design for Medlow Bath Highway upgrade.

  • 14 June 2021
    Great Western Highway upgrade powering ahead.

  • 14 June 2021
    Safer passage through Medlow Bath ahead of full highway upgrade.

  • 4 June 2021
    Archaeological dig to explore Aboriginal connection to Blue Mountains.

  • 3 May 2021
    Australia’s longest road tunnel proposed for Great Western Highway Upgrade.

  • 3 March 2021
    Doing the groundwork for highway upgrade.

  • 18 February 2021
    Highway history to be preserved for future generations.

  • 18 December 2020
    Contracts awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade works.

  • 17 December 2020
    Safety drives highway upgrade at Medlow Bath.

  • 30 October 2020
    More time to have your say on Blackheath tunnel.

  • 12 October 2020
    Tunnel options best fit for Blackheath.

  • 1 October 2020
    Heading west this long weekend? Making your journey home faster and safer.

  • 28 September 2020
    Contract awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade through Medlow Bath.

  • 6 August 2020
    Medlow Bath residents have more time to consider Great Western Highway design.

  • 7 June 2020
    Medlow Bath residents invited to have their say on Great Western Highway design.

  • 4 June 2020
    Two possible bypasses of Blackheath considered by committee.

  • 10 June 2020
    Great Western Highway upgrade west of Lithgow.

  • 13 May 2020
    Locals have their say on Great Western Highway upgrade.

  • 28 February 2020
    Blackheath locals to help co-design Great Western Highway upgrade.

  • 3 December 2019
    Blackheath community invited to meeting to learn more about the Great Western Highway upgrade.

  • 7 November 2019
    Have your say on Great Western Highway.

  • 11 March 2019
    Green light for $2.5 billion Great western highway duplication.

Contact us

For further information about this project, please contact:

Phone: 1800 953 777

Email:gwhd@transport.nsw.gov.au

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

 

The Great Western Highway is one of Australia’s most historic roads and a key east-west connection out of Sydney. Over the last 100 years, the NSW Government has progressively upgraded sections of the highway to make it safer and more reliable.