Chifley Road upgrade - Scenic Hill and Clarence Bridge over Rail

The NSW Government is proposing to upgrade sections of Chifley Road between Bell and Lithgow as part of the Bells Line of Road Corridor. The upgrade would provide long-term road safety benefits, more reliable travel times and improve regional access and efficiency.

On 25 June 2018 the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight announced $95M in funding allocated across the next three years to plan and carry out a range of upgrade projects on the Great Western Highway and Chifley Road between Katoomba and Lithgow.

Project update

Clarence Bridge over Rail upgrade

Roads and Maritime Services has now commenced construction on the project which will take around two years to complete.

During construction, speed limits will be restricted to 40km/h and 60km/h with delays expected. Please keep to the speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs.

Roads and Maritime has awarded the contract for construction of the new bridge and demolition of existing bridge to Quickway Constructions Pty Ltd.

Work on the approaches to the new bridge is progressing well and Bridge work started in June 2019.

Scenic Hill upgrade

Roads and Maritime Services is carrying out investigation work on the Scenic Hill upgrade project. We will be working between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and expect to complete the work by 31 January 2019.

During the work, lane closures and a 40km/h speed limit will be in place.  Please keep to the speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs.

Project background

Bells Line of Road is a State road which stretches from North Richmond on the north-western outskirts of Sydney to Bell, at the intersection with the Darling Causeway. At this point it becomes Chifley Road which then goes to Clarence and into Lithgow on the western side of the Blue Mountains.

The combination of narrow lanes and shoulders and poor road alignment has led to a high crash rate along Chifley Road.

The proposal is to upgrade Scenic Hill, located about 3km east of Lithgow and replace the Clarence Road over rail bridge located about 5km west of Bell.

Key features

Key features of the road bridge across the railway line at Clarence will include:

  • Replacing and removing the existing bridge across the Main Western railway line
  • Widening and realigning Chifley Road to connect to the new bridge
  • Upgrading the intersection of Chifley Road and the road into the Clarence Colliery.

Key features of the upgrade at Scenic Hill will include:

  • Widening and realigning Chifley Road at Scenic Hill and providing an additional descending lane and median barrier
  • Improving the intersection at the Lithgow ex-Prisoner of War Memorial on Scenic Hill
  • Providing improved concrete drains along road cuttings.

Review of Environmental Factors

A Review of Environmental Factors for Bells Line of Road – Chifley Road Upgrade Bridge replacement over the railway line at Clarence and the upgrade of Scenic Hill has now been determined and published.

Next steps

Clarence Road Bridge upgrade

The construction of the new bridge has commenced and launching of the bridge girders over the railway line has been scheduled for September 2019 during rail shut down.

After the new bridge has been built and opened to traffic the existing bridge will be demolished during a scheduled rail shut down.

Scenic Hill upgrade

Design work is ongoing.


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