By UTE SCHULENBERG
IT ONLY took two years to plan and five and a half weeks to build.
Now Urunga Lagoon has 264 metres of brand new boardwalk stretching into the mangroves, opening up areas not previously seen by many locals.
Resident Vicki Moore, who walks the footbridge every morning, said the addition gives a whole new perspective of the lagoon.
"It's wonderful to have this place to walk . . . and it's very nice for our town," Ms Moore said.
In his opening speech, the mayor, Cr Mark Troy, said the project was the first of five to be completed using the newly created Environmental Levy.
"This will definitely do as intended ? to encourage awareness and appreciation of this special estuary ecosystem," Cr Troy said.
The project is the last hurrah for Bellingen Shire Council's building and services manager, Bob Burgess, who retires today after 32 years with the council.
"It's been a good project to finish with," Mr Burgess said.
"The fishermen are delighted because it gives them easy access to the bream."
Mr Burgess said he was disappointed he hadn't seen the Sea Lido finally completed, but was hopeful that project would gain funding next year.