A NEW road bridge over the River Deveron and transforming the existing historic bridge into a pedestrian/cycle bridge are the preferred options of councillors.
The move would cost £4.9 million, members of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee were told.
They agreed this was the best option to resolve the growing issue of congestion over the bridge, which is the main road link between Banff and Macduff.
The new road bridge would be built upstream of the existing bridge.
The committee unanimously agreed this morning to recommend these options too the infrastructure services committee of Aberdeenshire Council.
Other options included widening the existing carriageway on the bridge or introducing single lane, signal-controlled vehicle movements or extending the bridge decking to accommodate a full width carriageway and footpath.
The current bridge carries 12,500 vehicle movements per day.
Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services, said: "As the only river crossing of the River Deveron in the vicinity, the bridge is the main access between Banff and Macduff."
He added: "The council's capital plan does not currently include provision for any of these options or for further optiona appraisal work."