Whangarei District Council has voted to forge ahead with a second harbour bridge.
It has set aside a more expensive proposal for a lock and a weir system to keep water levels high in the upper Whangarei harbour.
A group of local tourist operators and engineers have been promoting the weir, to create more opportunities for recreation.
But the council has decided to go with the no-frills bridge option for now, saying its first priority is to get traffic moving through the city.
It has invited proponents of the lock and weir scheme to do further investigations on its feasibility, and come back with a firm proposal.
The $35 million Whangarei harbour bridge is eligible for a government subsidy of $14 million.