New Aecom deal advances Australia tunnel project

By Andy Brown20 September 2021

A photo of the Blue Mountains in Australia. Photo credit to Li.silvia

Plans for Australia’s longest road tunnel are progressing, with a major contract awarded to Aecom Australia to carry out environmental assessment work.

The proposed 11km long tunnel would run through the Blue Mountains and be a central component of the Great Western Highway upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow.

The Blue Mountains is a popular tourist destination in Australia, known for its natural beauty.

The AUD $4.5 billion (US$3.2 billion) Great Western Highway upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales (NSW) Governments. Construction work is scheduled to start in late 2022, with the tunnel slated to begin construction in 2024.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said, “This project will transform journeys between the Central West and the East Coast, delivering a safe and more efficient journey for locals, truckies and tourists.

“Aecom Australia are industry leaders in their field and bring extensive, demonstrated experience in the environmental assessment of roads and tunnels, having worked on major infrastructure projects, including NorthConnex and the M6 Stage 1.”

Barilaro added that Aecom had demonstrated “comprehensive understanding of the unique and sensitive Blue Mountains environment,” but concerns have been raised about the environmental impact of the project.

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