May 9, 2010

Great Western Highway project moves forward

Great Western Highway project moves forward

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 9 2010

The preferred route and cost estimates for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Mount Victoria and Lithgow have now been finalised, with the first instalment of vital safety works expected to start by the end of the year.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said after two years of intensive planning and community consultations the Rudd and Keneally Labor governments will soon begin rolling out an initial $250 million investment in this road.

"From the outset we’ve said that the final scope of work to be undertaken in the first phase of the upgrade would be subject to the outcomes of further planning work," said Mr Albanese.

"The RTA has now completed this necessary work and we’re in position to get on with the job. Every cent we’ve committed to the Great Western Highway will be spent making this road safer.

"To begin with we will spend $30 million delivering a number of long overdue safety improvements around Victoria Pass and the township of Mount Victoria, including the installation of median barriers and road widening."

As well as delivering this safety package, the initial $250 million investment being delivered as part of the Nation Building Program (2008-09 to 2013-14) will fund:

  • A bypass to the south of Little Hartley, including intersection improvements at Coxs River Road, Baaners Lane and Browns Gap Road; and
  • The southern alignment option at River Lett Hill.

The corridor for the following sections will be preserved so work on them could proceed when additional funding becomes available:

  • A tunnel as part of a bypass of the township of Mount Victoria and Victoria Pass; and
  • A new alignment at Forty Bends.

NSW Transport and Roads Minister David Campbell said the preferred route was approved after careful consideration of community issues, preliminary environmental and technical investigations as well as engineering and cost issues.

"The preferred route for the Mt Victoria Bypass is currently between 200 and 400 metres wide. This corridor will be reduced to around 60 metres," said Mr Campbell.

"This will allow the route to be placed on the Local Environmental Plans of Lithgow and Blue Mountains City councils, providing long term certainty for local residents and property owners.

"The three priority projects have been identified for immediate action as they deliver the greatest immediate benefits within the funding available."

The RTA will now prepare an implementation strategy for the upgrade and develop designs for the safety improvements of the existing highway.

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