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Tunnel under Blackheath to preserve character and heritage of town

Oct 12, 2020

BLACKHEATH, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia – The character and heritage of the historic town of Blackheath in the New South Wales Blue Mountains will be preserved under plans for the $2.5 billion upgrade of the Great Western Highway.

The NSW government is proposing a tunnel for the Blackheath area.

Acting Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole on Monday said a tunnel under Blackheath would deliver the best result for preserving the village’s character and heritage as well as smoother and safer journeys for motorists travelling in, around and through the Blue Mountains.

“This is a complex project and we wanted to work with the people who know Blackheath best to ensure we identified the best options for the community,” Toole said.

“For the past six months, the Blackheath Co-Design Committee – which brought together representatives from community groups, local council, emergency services, and Transport for NSW – has been doing just that and has helped shape the way forward.

“We’re now asking for the community’s feedback on two tunnel options under Blackheath options that will ensure minimal impacts to property, improve safety and congestion through the village and provide an alternative route for emergency services.”

The tunnel includes three possible portals:

– A northern portal next to the Mount Boyce Heavy Vehicle Safety Station;

– A short southern tunnel portal option located in Sutton Park;

– A long southern tunnel portal option south of Evans Lookout Road.

Mr Toole said the Centennial Pass and Station Street bypass options had been removed from consideration.

“We told the Blackheath community we would provide certainty on route options for the Great Western Highway upgrade and we are providing that certainty today,” he said.

“We also want to hear from the community about other suggestions for improvements that could be made to the existing highway to improve safety and connectivity in Blackheath.”

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