Great Western Highway revised upgrade

The Australian and NSW governments have agreed on a revised package of upgrades for the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow. The upgrades are aimed at improving road safety and travel conditions between Katoomba and Lithgow. This revised package addresses the recommendations from the independent review of the proposed upgrades of the Great Western Highway west of Katoomba.


In May 2010 the NSW and Australian governments announced an initial $250 million investment to fund upgrades between Mount Victoria and Lithgow including:

  • Safety improvements around Victoria Pass and the township of Mount Victoria.
  • A bypass to the south of Little Hartley, including intersection improvements at Coxs River Road, Baaners Lane and Browns Gap Road.
  • The southern alignment option at River Lett Hill.
  • Preserving the corridor so work could proceed on other sections when additional funding becomes available.

In September 2011 the NSW Government engaged Evans and Peck to carry out an independent review of the proposed upgrades of the Great Western Highway west of Katoomba.

The review was initiated after community members raised concerns about environmental, cultural, social and economic impacts of the upgrade. The review ensures that the best value for money is obtained from the investment.

The Independent Review of the proposed upgrades of the Great Western Highway west of Katoomba, is now available.

Completed projects

Roads and Maritime Services completed the safety upgrades and road improvements on the Great Western Highway between Hartley Valley and Forty Bends in October 2017.

The upgrade included:

  • improvements along the existing highway, including changes to curves to make them safer
  • precast arch structure over Whites Creek and concrete pavement at Forty Bends to lessen the risk of black ice formation
  • five main intersection upgrades:
    • Coxs River Road and Ambermere Drive
    • Baaners Lane and Browns Gap Road
    • Old Bathurst Road
    • Jenolan Caves Road and Blackmans Creek Road
    • Daintree Close
  • more arrows and reflective markers on the highway to provide clear definition of lanes
  • provision of concrete and wire rope safety barriers
  • improved road surface.

What happens next?

Roads and Maritime Services is continuing to manage and deliver the following projects:

  • Delivery of an enhanced safety work and road upgrade on the Great Western Highway at Mount Victoria Village. Work is progressing well and the project is likely to be completed in mid 2018.
  • Begin construction of the Katoomba to Mount Victoria upgrade. Roads and Maritime are currently inviting to tender and will announce the winning bid in early 2018.
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