The Great Western Highway provides the primary road connection across the Blue Mountains between Sydney and western NSW. Upgrading of the 3.4 km section of the Highway between Woodford and Hazelbrook was carried out by RMS to cater for increased traffic flows and improve road safety standards. Located along a broad ridgeline with a railway on one side and residential development on the other side the Highway presented major challenges for the upgrading to provide two lanes in both directions.

As a Principal Landscape Architect at URS, Noel Corkery was project team leader responsible for coordination of the urban and landscape concept design to ensure they were integrated with the highway engineering design.

Corkery Consulting was engaged by URS to prepare detailed landscape design and documentation for the project, including Memory Park at Hazelbrook and Memorial Park at Woodford. 


Client:       URS/RMS
Location:  Woodford / HazelBrook NSW Australia
Images:    Corkery Consulting


URS was engaged by RMS to design and document the section of highway upgrade between Woodford and Hazelbrook. The topography presented a number of challenges that required a complex combination of retaining walls and cut slopes.

Key aspects of the urban and landscape design concept include:

  • Retention and restoration of remnant vegetation to enhance ecological values while contrasting with the cultural landscape character of the villages
  • Design of an integrated pedestrian/cycle path network along the whole section of Highway, connecting to adjoining residential areas, Hazelbrook School and the villages of Woodford and Hazelbrook
  • Creation of a strong pedestrian connection between Railway Station and Hazelbrook shopping centre via new bridge over the Highway

Effective integration of the new road works with the adjoining residential areas and remnant natural vegetation was achieved by working closely with URS engineers and environmental specialists. At the same time the landscape design provides a visually engaging experience for motorists travelling along a highly scenic road corridor in the spectacular landscape of the Blue Mountains.

In addition to the road corridor landscape works, Corkery Consulting was also responsible for detailed design and documentation of the restoration of Memory Park at Hazelbrook and Memorial Park at Woodford. Design of Memorial Park incorporated interpretation of the former  

railway cottages together with new paths and entry stairs combined with cultural and native planting.

Located alongside the new pedestrian bridge across the Highway connecting Hazelbrook to railway station, Memory Park incorporates significant heritage values and memorial. A series of terraces, ramps, stairs and retaining walls were incorporated to provide comfortable, enjoyable and safe movement across the steep site as well as sitting and relaxing. A row of 18 Cypress Pines were planted in an arc adjoining a lawn area and new sandstone wall as a memorial to local soldiers who died in WW1.