THE duplication of the Great Western Highway on Bathurst's eastern fringe is starting to take shape.
It took a while for the work to get started, as property acquisitions held up the process, but progress is now becoming obvious.
A concept design for the multi-million dollar upgrade to the highway between Kelso and Raglan was released in mid-2019 and the upgrade was given planning approval in mid-2020.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said site establishment and initial work has been completed and the $45 million project has moved into the general earthworks phase.
"Earthwork and ground stabilisation in front of the Bathurst Regional Airport is now complete, telecommunications have been relocated through the majority of the project length and earthwork has now commenced opposite the BP," he said.
The upgrade will create two lanes in both directions from Ashworth Drive to Napoleon Street, and two lanes eastbound and one lane westbound from Napoleon Street to the east of Ceramic Avenue.
There will also be new turning paths at highway intersections and traffic lights installed at the PJ Moodie Memorial Drive intersection, which provides access to the airport.
"The ability to employ local contractors and boost the local economy is something we're extremely pleased about - a number of local companies have been involved in the project to date, employing over 25 people so far," Mr Toole said.
"This is on top of the 11 people that Transport for NSW directly employed to work on the project in May this year."
He said the most recent activity on the Kelso to Raglan upgrade follows on from work that started in March to remove the avenue of poplars from the northern side of the highway to make way for a widened road.
Mr Toole said a new treescape will be planted in this area at the conclusion of the project in 2023.
The next phase of the project will involve stormwater, kerb and pavement works, according to Transport for NSW.
Changed traffic conditions remain in place: there is a 60 kilometre an hour speed limit alongside barriers from Napoleon Street to Ceramic Avenue.
The latest upgrade follows the duplication of the highway at Kelso, which opened at the end of 2017.