£1.4 million plans to widen and strengthen Tadcaster's bridge have been approved by the Executive of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).
The 18th century grade two listed bridge is currently undergoing repair after its partial collapse following the heavy Boxing Day floods last year.
But following a meeting on July 26 the NYCC executive agreed to develop a proposal for improving the bridge and accepted funding of £1.4 million from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “It has always been our ambition to improve Tadcaster Bridge as we rebuild it.
"This funding will support the strengthening of the bridge to offer greater protection from future flooding, as well as widening the bridge to provide the better pedestrian access that people have asked for."
The proposed plans, which would strengthen the bridge to cope with higher river levels, are still subject to planning permission.
The work would also see the bridge footpaths widened from under one metre in places to two metres and increase the number of street lights from one to six.
The reconstruction of the bridge is being funded by £3 million from the government, but the funding for these improvements will come via the Local Growth Fund of the LEP.
NYCC is now engaging with Historic England and the local planning authority to secure permission to allow the works.
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, who is the local member for Tadcaster and a member of the LEP board, added: “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to widen the bridge and provide wider footpaths that will allow people to cross safely and it will deliver the aspiration people in Tadcaster have had for decades for a safer river crossing.
"It will also give the town a great base from which it can grow.”