GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

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GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby jonnosan » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 11:15 am

There's a proposal to duplicate the great western highway, with some options for Blackheath area including bridging over Berghofers Pass, Porters Pass and Centenial Pass

news report is here https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au ... idge-line/

draft proposal is here https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/gre ... index.html which includes this in FAQ:

What impact will you have on bushwalking routes?
Where possible, we will avoid impacting bushwalking
routes as we are sensitive to the community’s high regard
for these environmental assets. However, a possible option
for Blackheath would likely impact bushwalking trails to
Fort Rock, Centennial Glen Creek, and Porters Pass Track.
The reserved corridor between Mount Victoria and
Lithgow would likely impact Berghofers Pass.

The program team will consult with stakeholders
such as bush walking groups, local councils, and
others to mitigate impacts during the development
of these options. Further investigations need to be
done to assess the impacts on these trails

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Re: GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby Warin » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 1:28 pm

:? Would it not be better to make Bells Line of Road 2 lane all the way and then make that 100kmh limit.. would that not provide better connection, less conflict with local traffic and keep most of the community happy?
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Re: GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby rcaffin » Mon 11 Nov, 2019 7:30 pm

No it would not.
The route through Katoomba is already massively touristised. The Bell Line of Road is relatively unscathed and almost 'pristine' (as far as a tarmac road can be!). Leave well alone. And it would cost a veritable bomb to turn the Bell road into 4 lanes!

Actually, diverting a of of the traffic away from the Katoomba route would probably make a LOT of local businesses along it very unhappy. I doubt the residents along the Bell road would be happy either: huge loss of peace.

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Re: GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby mandragara » Tue 12 Nov, 2019 11:06 pm

I don't see how Bells could be made 4 lane, a lot of the road after Mt Tomah is so windy and narrow, I don't think there's space.
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Re: GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby michael_p » Wed 13 Nov, 2019 8:10 am

Thanks Jonnosan for the information. I did wonder how they were going to route the highway at Pulpit Hill, Blackheath and Mt Vic. It would be a pity to lose some of the tracks on the western side of Blackheath and the Berghofers Pass track. I hope they can find alternatives.

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Re: GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby FatCanyoner » Wed 13 Nov, 2019 6:07 pm

An expressway along the Bells Line route has been proposed many times. A few years back, when last raised, the cost was over $5 billion. It would be environmentally terrible, but that massive price tag is the real reason it will never be built.
Regarding Blackheath, I think the idea of a short tunnel under the town is the best option. Detouring the town by building a road along the western escarpment would be absolute vandalism of a spectacular area.
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Re: GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby Xplora » Thu 14 Nov, 2019 5:29 am

There is a price that has to be paid at some time if you want to get people out of the city and into regional areas for business. Sydney has grown so much in the last 10 years but people will not leave because there are not enough jobs west of the divide. Transport links are needed to support growth but the GWH has only ever been upgraded to meet the current need without any thought to the future. By the time the upgrade is finished it needs another upgrade. Sydney is also running out of water for its expanding population and urban development is taking up more farmland all the way to the foothills. I am not necessarily happy about losing tracks but you have to think about the long term if the government cannot get people to move west or out of cities.

I agree that the Bells Line should be left alone as much as possible. There are nowhere near the number of houses on the road compared with the GWH but there is room in some areas to widen. I wouldn't say it was all that narrow and windy but there are a couple of narrow bits around Tomah. The biggest problem is the two lane Bridge at Nth Richmond which has always been a bottleneck.
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Re: GWH widening and risk to Blackheath Tracks

Postby Warin » Thu 14 Nov, 2019 8:33 am

There used to be a ferry for crossing Sydney Harbour. Then an engineer gave us the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we now have quite a few bridges and one tunnel.

Looking past the present ..

There will be more and more traffic that is not local to the Blue mountains heading over it. There will be a need for more than one 4 lane highway. Possibly a new route with tunnels?

In my view .. we need another engineer.
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