$225 Million Next Stage of Great Western Highway Opens to Traffic

Media Release

WT107/2014

10 July 2014

Joint release with:

Duncan Gay

NSW Minister for Roads and Freight

Louise Markus

Federal Member for Macquarie

Roza Sage

NSW Member for Blue Mountains

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay, the Member for Blue Mountains Roza Sage and Federal Member for Macquarie Louise Markus, representing the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, officially opened the $225 million Woodford to Hazelbrook section of the Great Western Highway to traffic today.

The NSW Government had invested $155 million and the Australian Government had invested $70 million in the project to upgrade this important road corridor.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said this was another example of the NSW and Federal Coalition governments working together to deliver vital infrastructure.

“The Federal and NSW Liberal and Nationals governments are determined to improve traffic movement and ensure a safer journey for more than 20,700 motorists on the highway each day,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Since March 2011 a record $569 million has been invested to fast track upgrades of the Great Western Highway,” Minister Gay said.

“The Great Western Highway is not only the main arterial road for communities of the Blue Mountains, it also serves as a vital transport link between central and western NSW and the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area.”

Mrs Sage said the record level of investment meant upgrades such as the 3.2 kilometre section of the highway from Woodford to Hazelbrook—which experienced a delay due to the lead contractor becoming insolvent—were being progressed faster.

“Not only is the Woodford to Hazelbrook section now complete, but construction work is well underway on major upgrades of the highway between Bullaburra and Wentworth Falls,” Mrs Sage said.

The $225 million highway widening between Hazelbrook and Woodford has been under way since 2010 with a centre-median and dedicated turning lanes built to reduce crash risk, key intersections upgraded and a pedestrian bridge and safer crossings installed.

“To improve the streetscape and environment along this upgraded section, 3,350 trees were planted and a further 40 trees planted at Memory Park,” said Mrs Sage.

Federal Member for Macquarie Louise Markus said a shared pedestrian and cycle path was also constructed along the length of the upgrade to improve road safety and encourage these active pursuits.

“Extensive landscaping and other improvements were carried out around the new pedestrian bridge connecting Hazelbrook railway station to the local shopping village,” Mrs Markus said.

“Protected turning centre bays were also installed at Clear View Parade, Park Road and Woodford Avenue as well as new full-size bus bays to improve access for bus commuters. Work was also completed on improving the drainage conditions of the highway.”

Mrs Sage said community feedback to the upgrade has led to improvements including a new pedestrian crossing installed between Arthur Street and the Woodford Academy.

“I sincerely thank the community for its patience during these upgrade works which required lane closures, changed traffic conditions and temporary reduced access to some properties and side streets,” she said.

Minister Gay said the NSW Coalition's historic investments to fast track upgrades of the Great Western Highway would result in a four-lane divided road all the way from Emu Plains to Katoomba.

“The $85 million upgrade from 400 metres west of Genevieve Road at Bullaburra to Tableland Road at Wentworth Falls will open by the end of this year,” Minister Gay said.

“The $75 million upgrade from Lawson to 400 metres west of Genevieve Road at Bullaburra East will open in late 2015.

“We are continuing planning and early work for the $250 million Great Western Highway safety upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow.”

For more information on the completed Woodford to Hazelbrook section of the Great Western Highway upgrade visit: www.rms.nsw.gov.au