BATHURST Regional Council will receive $1.7 million in disaster relief funding to build a permanent concrete replacement for the Howards Bridge across Winburndale Rivulet.
The original timber bridge on the Bridle Track was washed away during heavy storms in January, leaving a number of property owners in the area isolated.
Bathurst Regional Council opened a temporary crossing six weeks after the first bridge was washed away and now planning is well under way to build a permanent replacement.
Council was advised earlier this month that its application for disaster relief funding had been approved and a report to Wednesday night's council meeting by engineering services director Darren Sturgiss recommends councillors call for tenders for a new bridge.
"Engineering staff have commenced survey and investigative design works for the replacement of the bridge," the report states.
"It is recommended that council call tenders for a design and construction contract for a permanent concrete bridge to replace the previous timber bridge.
"It is anticipated that the proposed concrete bridge will be constructed at a higher deck level, as yet to be determined, to improve both vertical road geometry and also to provide a higher level of service during minor flood events.
"Improvements will be made where possible to the bridge approaches with regard to horizontal alignment, including width."
While council plans to build a concrete bridge to replace the original timber bridge, Mr Sturgiss said the disaster funding was granted on a "like-for-like" basis, meaning the new bridge would also be single lane only.
"Should council wish to install a two-lane bridge, it will need to allocate further funding in its annual operating/delivery plan," his report states.
Mr Sturgiss said work was continuing to salvage the original bridge that was washed downstream in January's storm.