Transport for NSW (Transport) has investigated widening the Great Western Highway between Blackheath and Little Hartley to two lanes in each direction.
The proposed Blackheath to Little Hartley Tunnel Upgrade is currently paused awaiting confirmation of funding and by both the Australian and State Governments.
Blackheath to Little Hartley Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Submissions to the Blackheath to Little Hartley Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) closed on 1 March 2023. A Response to Submissions document is currently being compiled and will be made available here when complete.
What is an EIS?
An EIS is undertaken to assess the potential impacts of the project on the environment and to address the DPE Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). It also includes measures to mitigate and manage identified impacts.
Find out more about EIS
Key features of the project
The Great Western Highway will provide major economic and safety benefits. It will improve the connection between Central West NSW and Sydney, reduce congestion, improve resilience and freight productivity, and provide a safer and more reliable journey for thousands of residents, commuters, tourists and freight operators who travel in, around and through the Blue Mountains.
Key features of the Blackheath to Little Hartley upgrade include:
- two tunnels, one eastbound and one westbound, around 11 kilometres long, generally to the south of the existing Great Western Highway and Mount Victoria
- two lanes of traffic flow in each tunnel, to separate traffic and increase safety
- entry and exit points (portals) around 400 metres south of Evans Lookout Road, Blackheath and at the base of Victoria Pass, Hartley Valley, southwest of Butlers Creek
- a tunnel depth of up to 200 metres below ground at the deepest point at Mount Victoria
- up to 2.5 metre wide shoulders to provide additional space for emergency situations or breakdowns
- surface road upgrade work to connect the tunnel to the surrounding road network at Blackheath and Little Hartley
- tunnel operation infrastructure including a tunnel operations facility next to the Blackheath portal, south of Evans Lookout Road, air ventilation systems, water management and treatment facilities, fire and life safety systems, and lighting and signage including variable message signs and overhead gantries.