The new bridge on Frame Drive, Abermain could be open by Christmas.
The bridge was extensively damaged in the April 2015 super storm and has been closed since then.
Demolition works on the old bridge started on Thursday, and the first sod for construction of the new bridge was turned on Monday.
Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent said this day had been long-awaited for council and the community.
“It is very satisfying to see the successful demolition of the old timber structure and I look forward to the ribbon cutting on the new concrete bridge in the not too distant future,” he said.
“The community have understandably been frustrated however the wait is nearly over and council are delivering the community with a new bridge which will have an open load limit, two-way travel and pedestrian walkways on both sides.”
The demolition works occurred on Thursday with a crane used to remove the concrete slabs and an excavator used to dismantle the remaining structure.
Building the new bridge is a complex process that will involve installing steels piles into rock to provide a suitable foundation, and then building reinforced concrete piers, girders and deck to form the bridge.
Frame Drive had become a popular shortcut since the Hunter Expressway opened in March 2014.
Cessnock City Council received $2 million from the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program, which covered half of the cost of the new bridge.
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