Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Broad MP Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Forty Bends arch takes shape as works commence

Media Release

WT339/2015

20 October 2015

Joint release with:

John Cobb

Member for Calare

Works are underway on the $96 million arch-shaped crossing of Whites Creek at Forty Bends, with the soil walls at each end taking shape from today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the upgrade is part of the $250 million realignment of the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow.

“This section of highway can be dangerous during poor weather and, in winter, the road has been often closed due to black ice,” Mr Truss said.

“The realignment will see 2.5 kilometres of road upgraded to a three-lane divided highway, while twin bridges over Whites Creek will be constructed, significantly improving safety and reliability.

“The reliable supply of goods is important part to business operation. By improving the reliability of this road during even the coldest, wettest winters, we will improve the competitiveness of producers, businesses, the state and, indeed, the nation.

“Accidents cost the Australian economy around $27 billion a year. They have a devastating impact on families and local communities. Our investment is saving lives and improving national prosperity at the same time.”

Federal Member for Calare John Cobb said residents of the area will have seen substantial changes to the crossing in recent times.

“It is great to see the new Whites Creek crossing at Forty Bends taking shape with 50 precast concrete arches, each weighing about 20 tonnes, being put in place,” Mr Cobb said.

“The opening of the arch will allow the cold air to pass through rather than rising to the road surface, reducing the risk of black ice forming on the highway. It will also serve as a crossing for local fauna.

“Work on the reinforced soil walls and backfilling is expected to take about 12 weeks to complete. I'd like to thank motorists for their patience while these upgrades continue.”

The Australian Government is fully funding this $96 million Forty Bends Upgrade. The Australian and New South Wales governments have provided $200 million and $50 million, respectively, towards the Great Western Highway upgrade.