Forty Bends arch takes shape as works commence

20 October 2015

Works are underway on the $96 million arch-shaped crossing of Whites Creek at Forty Bends, with the soil walls at each end taking shape from today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the upgrade is part of the $250 million realignment of the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow.

“This section of highway can be dangerous during poor weather and, in winter, the road has been often closed due to black ice,” Mr Truss said.

“The realignment will see 2.5 kilometres of road upgraded to a three-lane divided highway, while twin bridges over Whites Creek will be constructed, significantly improving safety and reliability.

“The reliable supply of goods is important part to business operation. By improving the reliability of this road during even the coldest, wettest winters, we will improve the competitiveness of producers, businesses, the state and, indeed, the nation.

“Accidents cost the Australian economy around $27 billion a year. They have a devastating impact on families and local communities. Our investment is saving lives and improving national prosperity at the same time.”

Federal Member for Calare John Cobb said residents of the area will have seen substantial changes to the crossing in recent times.

“It is great to see the new Whites Creek crossing at Forty Bends taking shape with 50 precast concrete arches, each weighing about 20 tonnes, being put in place,” Mr Cobb said.

“The opening of the arch will allow the cold air to pass through rather than rising to the road surface, reducing the risk of black ice forming on the highway. It will also serve as a crossing for local fauna.

“Work on the reinforced soil walls and backfilling is expected to take about 12 weeks to complete. I'd like to thank motorists for their patience while these upgrades continue.”

The Australian Government is fully funding this $96 million Forty Bends Upgrade. The Australian and New South Wales governments have provided $200 million and $50 million, respectively, towards the Great Western Highway upgrade.

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