Together with the NSW Government’s 1972 decision to establish Bathurst-Orange as the state’s first growth centre came calls from the NRMA to upgrade the Great Western Highway to a four lane carriageway.
While upgrade works including the then completed Springwood bypass were already in train along the road, this new goal of “alleviating the mounting social and economic pressures in Sydney” via moving people out west of the mountains gave vital impetus to the project.
With echoes back to the construction of the original Coxs Road and the surge of travellers using the route after 1851 to get to the goldfields, the stage was once again set for the mountains’ landscapes to be defined by highway developments.
It was really all simply summed up in the NRMA report advising that “travel would be more convenient and safer if the highway were realigned to avoid passing through busy shopping centres”. The stage was hecne set for towns like Woodford to be once again bypassed.
Just as the arrival of the railway in the late 1860s had dictated that travellers across the mountains would pass by rather than through the mountain villages that did not comprise their chosen destination, so too would the highway four lane upgrade consciously bypass these places in order to provide a speedy transit between Sydney and the lands west of the Great Dividing Range.