IT HAS been nearly 15 years of begging, waiting and wishing, but finally the Lawrence community has a route for the new Sportsmans Creek bridge.
After much community consultation, Roads and Maritime Service project manager David Andrews said the wheels were well-and-truly in motion for the new $13million bridge.
"I'm really pleased that we were able to go with the option preferred by everyone - this is what the community wanted," he said.
To be built to the west of the existing bridge, the new one will divert onto Grafton St instead of Bridge St, meaning less traffic through the centre of town.
"We've got satisfied businesses in town, better frontage for the tavern and better access to the park," Mr Andrews said.
One Lawrence local who campaigned for a new bridge for 15 years, Sally Hoy, said she was thrilled progress was being made.
"It's a big thing for our little town and we've been trying to get it for a long while," Mrs Hoy said.
The new route announcement comes as part of the NSW Government's Bridges for the Bush program.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said the new infrastructure was needed and would allow better access to the town, especially for large trucks which frequent the bridge route.
"I have been talking about this with the Lawrence community for a long time, so to see it coming into fruition is great and we've had some great feedback," Mr Gulaptis said.
"The next step is to prepare an environmental impact assessment and obtain project approval before starting detailed design work."
The bridge will be coupled with a newly-landscaped park as well as some improvement works to the boat ramp. The start date cannot be confirmed until the designs are finished.
The original bridge was built in 1885, and then rebuilt in 1911.
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