THE NSW Government has gone out to tender for design work for one stage of the mammoth $2.5 billion duplication of the Great Western Highway from Lithgow to Katoomba.
The government says the project, announced in Bathurst in the lead-up to the 2019 state election, will reduce travel times to Sydney and increase safety on the highway.
Transport for NSW says it has gone out to tender for a design firm "to progress the site investigations, the design, and the environmental assessment work for the Medlow Bath section of the upgrade, from Station Street to 400 metres south of Bellevue Crescent".
Member of the Legislative Council and Blue Mountains resident Shayne Mallard said work on the Medlow Bath section of the duplication would be difficult, so residents of the village were being invited to have a say.
"With such a narrow corridor and important environmental and local heritage to work around, the options are limited, which is why it is so important that the community gets to have their say down to the smallest details so we can get the best outcome for everyone," he said.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, who is the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, said community consultation on the Medlow Bath section will start this month and will be initially delivered online and via the phone due to the evolving coronavirus situation.
As part of the upgrade, Mr Toole said, the government will explore ways to improve pedestrian access crossing the highway and for vehicles to safely access the Hydro Majestic Hotel.
Transport for NSW western region director Alistair Lunn has previously told the Western Advocate the speed limit will rise to 100 kilometres an hour from the base of Victoria Pass to South Bowenfels, outside Lithgow, as part of the upgrade.
He said the speed limit would remain at 80 kilometres an hour in the Blue Mountains, however, on the duplicated highway.
The NSW Government is considering a number of options, including tunnels, for the Blackheath section.