Mock rock wall in Blackheath

A mock rock wall unveiled on Hill 33 in Blackheath has been met with disappointment from many locals who consider it unattractive.

A number were hoping for something like the sandstone landscaping done at Mt Victoria after its recent highway upgrade.

Taking to Facebook, they described it as "cheap and nasty", "even uglier than Hazelbrook" and "bloody awful".

Several said they thought the painted rock looked like a giraffe pattern.

Continuing the animal theme, Gavin Pettigrew said: "Reminds me of the animal enclosures at Taronga Zoo in its early days.'

One member of the Streetscape committee thought it looked like the fake Uluru roadhouse built by the Leyland Brothers at their 1990s mid-north coast theme park.

"It's very Leyland Brothers," said Adele Colman.

But others disagreed, posting that they thought it was "great", "eye-catching" and even "stunning".

Ms Colman said Roads and Maritime Service could not be dissuaded from using the shotcrete, or sprayed concrete, finish.

"They would not budge from it despite very strong representation from Trish Doyle, Owen Laffin and Shayne Mallard pre-election.

"We did use the fact that we weren't told about it to negotiate a number of other things which was useful."

This included wide planter boxes at the base of the wall, which will allow for mature plantings to screen it.

A spokeswoman for the RMS said: "The mock rock wall uses existing rock but due to the weak sandstone in the area, sprayed concrete with colouring and texturing as mock rock finish has been used to stabilise against erosion.

"The design also includes extensive native shrub landscaping to screen the mock rock cutting."

The option of sandstone, as used at Mt Victoria, was not possible because of stabilisation required and the uneven surface.

The $36 million highway upgrade at Blackheath has been in train for more than a year.

The RMS is adding dedicated turning lanes, wider shoulders and other safety measures.

Much of the work at the southern end of town has been completed, including a new right-hand turn lane into Abbott St and landscaping works along the nature strip.

Several mature trees have been planted outside The George boutique hotel, where existing vegetation had been removed.

There is still extensive upgrading to be done, particularly at the main intersection of the highway and Govetts Leap Road, where new protected turning bays will be created.

This is the final part of the state government's $250 million Katoomba to Lithgow Great Western Highway safety upgrade.