$4.5 billion Great Western Highway upgrades on track

The Great Western Highway upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow is on track to start next year, with a $2.03 billion funding injection.

The NSW Government has committed $2.5 billion to the project, with the Australian Government announcing a further $2.03 billion in the 2021-22 Budget.

The upgrades are expected to cut congestion along the journey over the Blue Mountains.

“The Australian Government is backing in the plan to transform the Great Western Highway, because we know what a difference this landmark project will make each and every day to communities in the Blue Mountains and west of the Divide,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

“This project will end the grid-lock and deliver safer, more reliable journeys along the highway.”

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the upgrade of the East and West sections is already taking shape with the release of designs for the Cox’s River Road intersection and the Medlow Bath upgrade over the next month bringing the project one step closer to construction.

“This is the last major highway out of Sydney that’s not dual-carriageway, and that’s not good enough for the thousands of motorists from Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Central West who use it daily,” Toole said.

“The NSW Government has put $2.5 billion on the table to transform journeys along the Great Western Highway – and with the Federal Government’s $2 billion funding boost for the East and West sections, a project that has been put in the ‘too hard’ project for far too long is coming to life and will see shovels in the ground at the end of next year.

“The NSW Government is also pushing ahead with work on the Central section including investigations into building Australia’s longest road tunnel from Blackheath to Little Hartley, cutting out the Victoria Pass and Blackheath gridlocks during peak hours.”

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said this project is one of the largest single new infrastructure investments across Australia.

“The Great Western Highway upgrade is a significant project with far reaching benefits for the community, supporting more than 2500 jobs and involving local businesses and contractors,” Fletcher said.

“By alleviating congestion along critical roads like this, we’re helping people to get home to their families sooner and more safely, we’re helping freight move more quickly between our cities, and we’re generating jobs across the country.

“This one of many critical infrastructure projects to receive funding from the Morrison Government as part of its record $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s world-leading economic recovery.”

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