The Australian and NSW governments have agreed on a revised package of upgrades for the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow. The upgrades will improve road safety and target the specific issues with the road. This revised package addresses the recommendations from the independent review of the proposed upgrades of the Great Western Highway west of Katoomba. Read more>>
Upgrading the Great Western Highway
The upgrade of the Great Western Highway in the Blue Mountains involves widening the highway to four lanes between Emu Plains and Katoomba and to mostly three lanes between Katoomba and Mount Victoria.
The upgrade works completed to date have led to improved travel times for motorists as well as providing a safer road environment for all motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
Roads and Maritime Services will continue to keep the local community informed on the status of the Great Western Highway upgrade through this website, community newsletters and local newspaper advertisements.
The way roads were constructed in the early 1900's.
The Great Western Highway serves as a
- Key freight route between Sydney and the central west of NSW, including the timber industry in the Oberon area.
- Tourist route with destinations including the Blue Mountains, Historic Hartley, Jenolan Caves, Mudgee and Bathurst.
- Connecting and local road between the many towns and villages along its length.
About 24,000 vehicles a day travel on this section of the highway. Heavy vehicles make up about 12 per cent of this traffic with more than half the road freight transport between the central west and Sydney using the Great Western Highway.
The steep grades and tight curves on Victoria Pass and River Lett Hill limit the safe operation of heavy vehicles in this area. The often slow speed of the heavy vehicles through the mountains constrains how smaller vehicles travel.
The upgrade of the Great Western Highway is to
- Improve road safety.
- Improve road freight efficiency.
- Cater for the mix of through, local and tourist traffic.
- Be sensitive to the area's natural environment, heritage and local communities.