Duplication between Katoomba and Lithgow will aim to deliver a safer and faster route over the Blue Mountains.
Community consultation is open now until 5pm on the 16th of December. Nine information sessions will be held at Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Hartley Valley, Mount Victoria and Lithgow.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the upgrade would reduce travel times and congestion along the 34 kilometre route.
“As someone who drives the Great Western Highway each week, I know how much of a game-changer this project will be for safety and congestion, especially in communities like Medlow Bath, Blackheath and Mount Victoria,” Mr. Toole said.
The Great Western Highway is the last main corridor out of Sydney to be upgraded and once complete it will form a dual carriageway in both directions for almost 100 kilometres.
“We’ve always said it will be a complex project, which is why we’re involving the community in the design from day one,”Mr. Toole said.
He said a proposed corridor between Mount Victoria and Forty Bends had been reserved in 2013, and was part of both Blue Mountains City Council and Lithgow City Council’s Local Environment Plans.
“We recognise the challenges of this. We need to work around steep topography, the rail line, minimise impacts on the environment and preserve the heritage and character of these communities. That’s why we want the community’s feedback.”
The project will not impact on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and impacts on the Blue Mountains National Park will be avoided or minimised where possible.
The project is in the early stages of planning and design. Construction is expected to start in 2021 and completion is forecast for 2028.