A NSW government department says it intends to acquire the property needed for the River Street bridge "by agreement".
Transport for NSW acting western director Alistair Lunn reports discussions with landholders affected by the planned second high-level crossing for Dubbo have been "ongoing for some time", and would continue as the project moved forward.
"We intend to work with them [landholders], and there's a well-documented community process we have to work through for an extended period of time, getting independent valuations and independent assessments on the impacts to those landholders, which will then bring us to a final decision," Mr Lunn said.
"But our intention is to always do that by agreement."
On Wednesday a refined design for the bridge was released, with Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders saying some changes were made in response to a consultation period that attracted more than 300 submissions.
River Street was chosen from six options for a bridge to keep traffic flowing during a one-in-50-year flood.
The government set aside more than $140 million for the project, but its chosen location sparked opposition from some community members and Dubbo Regional Council. Mr Lunn said the release of the submission report and the closing out of the environmental assessment was a milestone.
Transport for NSW would be moving into the next stage of the project, he said.
It involved finalising the detailed design and engaging with affected landholders and stakeholders, which had been "going for some time", he said.
The acting director said the plan was to call for tenders at the end of 2021, with major works to start about mid-2022.
Mr Lunn said the issues raised by landholders so far were "no different from what we expect on every one of these sorts of projects".
"Obviously there's some passion about losing land and losing property for some affected landholders or business impacts, and we need to work with them around that and how we come to a just agreement on those outcomes," he said.
"And then there's others who are just interested in how the connectivity will work with them, how they'll be affected by noise and what treatments they're eligible for, noise treatments and things like that, with the new road being near them."
Mr Lunn said it was a much-needed project.
"...[It] will open up the River Street area and the health precinct here in Dubbo, but also the north-west area of Dubbo with another vital link to that north-west corner of Dubbo, which is currently not developed," he said.