The John Holland Group has been named as the preferred builder of the long-anticipated new bridge over the Clyde River.
Bega MP and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance announced the successful contractor in Batemans Bay on Friday, May 18.
Other shortlisted contractors who registered in a bid to build the bridge included CPB Contractors and Seymour Whyte Constructions.
Construction is expected to start in early 2019. The existing bridge will be demolished when the new bridge is open to traffic.
Mr Constance said RMS would work with John Holland to finalise the contract, which was expected to be awarded in the middle of 2018.
"Today's announcement of the preferred tenderer is a significant milestone and allows work to start on the detailed design of the project," Mr Constance said.
"This means the project is on track to be shovel ready early next year.
"John Holland is a leading infrastructure and property company, with almost 70 years' experience delivering projects in Australia, NZ and South East Asia.
"The company is currently involved in delivering all of Australia's largest infrastructure projects, in addition to key local infrastructure to improve communities.
"An exciting part of this project will be the incorporation of sections of the old bridge into art work on a viewing platform to be constructed on the new bridge.
"This is another major milestone in the delivery of what will be a phenomenal project for our region.
"Once the project is complete, the community will benefit from less congestion at key pinch points in and around Batemans Bay.
"The project will reduce economic and social impacts caused by the lift span and current load limit of the existing bridge."
Mr Constance said foreshore facilities will be improved as will freight access south of the river, with larger trucks and B-doubles up to 26 metres in length to be able to cross the bridge.
"The new bridge across the Clyde River will provide a safer and more reliable crossing for the Batemans Bay community well into the future.
"The community will continue to be kept informed as the project progresses."