The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.
Great Western Highway (current)
© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.
The road that leads to the western areas of New South Wales has always gone through Prospect. This road developed from the track that ran between Sydney and Rosehill in 1788. The track was extended further west in 1789 when Captain Tench discovered the Nepean River. When William Cox commenced to build the road from Emu Plains to Bathurst in 1814, Prospect became part of the connection between the city and the western plains. Between 1900 and 1908, the Prospect part of the road was made of blue metal cobbles about one and a half to two inches square, compacted by horse drawn rollers and later by steam engine driven rollers. Every mile or so there was a heap of cobbles used for repairs. The blue metal was produced at the Emu and Prospect Road Gravel and Metal Gravel Company quarry at Prospect. During the 1920s the road was asphalt, but very narrow. Going east from Greystanes Road there were deep ditches either side, ten yards wide and ten yards deep, with chain wire safety fences. In 1928 the Great Western Road was proclaimed the Great Western Highway and came under control of the newly established Main Roads Board. During the 1930s the road was still very quiet, made of bitumen, with a single lane either way. The children from the nearby farms walked along the Highway to school without being in any danger from traffic. By 1944 the Western Highway was becoming a busy thoroughfare. The inadequacy of the old road became apparent as car ownership increased and more people used the road. Ronald Hicks, who lives to the east of the Prospect Reservoir gateway, describes the area of the road near his house in this way ‘…up around where we were there was lots of bends in the original road and lots of accidents and over the years there had been many people killed on that section of the road, the bendy section, but they put this new section through and it’s a straight road, which eliminated a lot of those deaths -
Great Western Highway showing deviation c1968
Photo courtesy: NSW RMS
Prospect Post Office
New Prospect Hotel
St Bartholomew’s Church
Old Great Western Highway Now Tarlington Place
Current Great Western Highway during construction
Now Prospect Highway
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