Cliff Drive reopens to vehicles after the completion of extensive repairs

Blue Mountains City Council is reopening Cliff Drive to vehicles between Leura and Katoomba on Friday 31 May.
cliff drive

To help improve the safety of pedestrians, Council has adjusted the width of traffic lanes and installed safety barriers to increase the separation between vehicles and pedestrians.

Cliff Drive has been closed to vehicles between Gordon Road and Solitary Restaurant since 2020 after a one-in-50-year rainfall event in the Blue Mountains caused a substantial landslip on slopes above Cliff Drive, resulting in extensive damage to 5,000sqm of land and the closure of roads and walking tracks in the area.

This was further complicated by more flooding in 2021, and two natural disasters in 2022.

A new, larger culvert was constructed following advocacy to State and Federal Governments, to secure grants so that the infrastructure impacted by natural disasters, could be rebuilt to a more resilient standard.

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill thanked the community for their patience while this significant piece of work was completed.

“The new culvert is a critical piece of infrastructure that will enable Leura Cascades to better withstand extreme weather events and help safeguard the future health of Leura Falls Creek. The community has been patient while we’ve worked through this complex process,” Cr Greenhill said.

“Now that Cliff Drive has reopened, our focus is on ensuring safety for all – pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

“There are a significant number of bushwalkers that walk alongside the road between the Leura Cascades Picnic Area and Kiah Lookout, so we urge everyone moving through the area to travel safely.”

The new culvert, which was completed in December 2023, withstood its first test with the natural disaster event on 5 April 2024, when more than 200mm of rain fell causing a major landslide at Megalong Road, Megalong Valley, and damage to Council assets including Echo Point, Glenbrook Oval and nine buildings across the city.

However, the excessive rainfall caused intense volumes of floodwater to dislodge dissipater blocks, and erosion damaged sandstone maintenance stairs.

To prepare for the reopening of Cliff Drive, Council has undertaken further work including heavy patching of pavement sections heavily impacted by rain and construction traffic during the culvert replacement, vegetation management, clearing drainage channels, footpath slip rectification, and sign cleaning and guard post replacement and repositioning.

Learn more about this project.

Photo: section of Cliff Drive.

/Public Release. View in full here.