Despite this week's fears the Bells Line of Road could be cut off for months it was announced on Wednesday evening the major route linking the Central West to Sydney will, in fact, is expected to be partly re-opened in the next 48 hours.
Transport for NSW crews assessed the road after it was extensively damaged during last month's extreme weather event, with reports deeming the route is capable of sustaining controlled traffic in both directions, within the next 48 hours too.
The road has been shut off between Bell and Berambing since March 21 after landslides impacted the integrity of the road and slope near Mount Tomah and it remained closed as of 7.30am on Thursday morning, however one lane will re-open soon.
Crews are currently carrying out patching work and they anticipate the road will be able to be opened under traffic control within the next 48 hours.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance confirmed motorists will be able to travel in both directions on the road at reduced speeds of 40km/h, but warned of delays due to those changed conditions too.
"Drivers will be able to travel all the way from Windsor to Lithgow on Bells Line of Road without any closure points, but there could still be traffic delays," he said.
"Crews are currently carrying out patching work and they anticipate the road will be able to be opened under traffic control within the next 48 hours."
Geotechnical investigations were carried out on the affected areas of the roads, with ground penetrating radar reports revealing the impacted areas are drying out and confirming no more damage had been sustained since last week.
However Member for Bathurst Paul Toole - also the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads - said there remains no timeline on a full re-opening of the road, with more time and investigations necessary.
"We know how important this road is both to locals and as a connection between Sydney and the Central West and we've been working hard to ensure it is safe to reopen," Mr Toole said.
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"While there's still a lot of work to do to restore it to full capacity, we'll be working hard to keep communities up to date and connected."
Transport for NSW Acting Deputy Secretary Howard Collins warned further heavy rain could still impact the stability of slopes either side of the road, which would result in sections of the thoroughfare being closed to motorists again.
However he, Mr Toole and Mr Constance both agreed on the economical benefits the limited re-opening of the road will have through the Blue Mountains, with the latter encouraging motorists taking the route to support businesses in the area.
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"I am encouraging drivers to visit cafes, pie shops, apple orchards and other businesses along Bells Line of Road, because they are still open and need your support these school holidays," Mr Constance said.
"This is good timing for the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens as it means the Gardens will be able to open to the public after finishing off their own flood clean-up operation," Mr Collins said.
"We are encouraging the community to visit the Bells Line of Road local businesses."
Motorists are advised to continue checking conditions on the road via Live Traffic, and to be mindful journeys will have additional time added to them due to traffic controls.
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