Aerial photograph of Great Northern Highway (Highway 95), near Newman, Western Australia, during sunset.

The $45 million Great Western Highway upgrade project will receive an additional $28 million from the New South Wales Government to address weather resilience.

The upgrade will duplicate the Great Western Highway at the eastern entrance to Bathurst to improve traffic flow and reduce travel times, especially during peak periods like holidays and major events like the Bathurst 1000.

About $15 million in funding will be used to convert the footpath beside the highway from a sprayed seal to concrete, along with foundation treatments to better manage the impacts of wet weather.

The highway and shoulders have been expanded to provide two lanes in each direction from Ashworth Drive to Napoleon Street and two lanes eastbound and one lane westbound from Napoleon Street to east of Ceramic Avenue.

New South Wales’ Deputy Premier and Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, said the extra funding would bring the total investment in the project to $73 million and provide additional benefits to motorists.

“This section of highway is the gateway to Bathurst – and too often the congestion is making the journey challenging for the more than 10,000 vehicles that use it every day,” Mr Toole said.

“Major work to improve safety and traffic flow is continuing to widen the road shoulder and travel lanes.

“Widening work along with the re-establishment of the avenue of trees lining the road is on track for completion by mid-2023, with the entire project expected to be finished in December 2023.”

The next steps for the project include switching traffic to the new road surface between Napoleon Street and Ceramic Avenue to enable work to start on the upgrade to the western lanes.

Work will also start on the construction of stormwater drainage on the southern side of the highway and earthworks west of Napoleon Street. Traffic lights will also be installed at the PJ Moodie intersection.  

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, said the project would support 150 jobs and deliver a reliable road for motorists, ensuring a safer trip for everyone travelling the Great Western Highway.

“With this additional funding we will be able to upgrade the road surface to install a heavy duty asphalt pavement rather than the granular pavement that was initially planned,” Mr Farraway said.

“This will ensure a more resilient road surface for all road users and will reduce ongoing maintenance costs by helping to limit the impacts of extreme weather.

“Work to install a section of this upgraded road surface started this month with more than 22,000t surf to be installed by December, with traffic to be moved on to the new 2.5km section before Christmas.”

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