The committee for constructing Australia’s longest road tunnel in the Blue Mountains is up to the New South Wales government.
Stretching from Blackheath to Little Hartley, the 11km toll-free tunnel is the state government’s preferred option following an in-depth feasibility analysis.
The twin-bore dual carriageway tunnels are going to figure part of the Great Western Highway upgrade with A$8bn (US$5.5bn) value among the central west and the east coast.
According to the description of Deputy premier and minister for regional NSW Paul Toole, the bided tunnel can be considered a history-making legacy project. He said the upgrade was on track to start early next year.
Minister for regional transport and roads Sam Farraway said: ” The tunnel would transform the connection between Sydney and western NSW. This tunnel project, as part of the major upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Lithgow and Katoomba, will help improve the economic development, productivity, and accessibility in and through the Blue Mountains, Central West, and Orana regions.”
He also added: “It will improve the resilience of the state’s major road corridor across the Blue Mountains during traffic incidents and natural disasters and will be built to accommodate future population growth west of the Blue Mountains.”
After the publication of the environmental impact assessment, a formal consultation period is due to be held later this year.