The Federal and State Governments have committed $100 million in joint funding to fast track the first construction stage of a major upgrade of Mulgoa Road between Blaikie Road and the M4 Motorway at Penrith.
But it’ll be some five years before motorists experience actual relief from what has become a nightmare journey in peak periods and on weekends.
The Federal Government will commit $80 million to fast tracking the project while the State Government will commit $20 million.
The first construction stage – which involves widening Mulgoa Road from four to six lanes (or three lanes in each direction) – will ensure “motorists experience relief by 2021”, according to a joint statement issued by the Federal and State Governments today.
“The next 18 months will involve further planning of the project, including geotechnical investigations and community consultation,” the statement said.
“Funding from the Turnbull Government will enable stage one construction work to commence in 2018, with planning to also continue on stage two from the M4 to Glenmore Parkway, stage three from Coreen Avenue to Museum Drive, and stage four at the Andrews Road intersection.
“All four stages include road widening, upgrading intersections and improving turning lanes into key local roads along the Mulgoa Road corridor.”
Business and housing in Penrith are growing rapidly, with Mulgoa Road acting as a critical transport link in the area. Mulgoa Road is a major frustration for motorists with heavy congestion occurring between Penrith CBD, the M4 and new residential developments in the area including Glenmore Park.
To date, the Baird Government has spent $1.7 million on plans to upgrade Mulgoa Road from Andrews Road to Glenmore Park in four distinct stages, with another $1.5 million committed in the upcoming 2016-17 NSW Budget to expand this work.
This work also complements planning for the $70 million Jane Street and High Street intersection and railway underpass.
A recent Council survey found that it can take 30 minutes to travel from Glenmore Park to Penrith City Centre (4.5km) and 26 minutes from Castlereagh to the M4 (13km).
“Widening Mulgoa Road cannot come soon enough for people stuck trying to get from one side of our city to the other,” Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown said.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.