By Amy Wenk

Work has begun to rebuild the Riverside Drive bridge over Marsh Creek that was severely damaged by floodwaters in September.

On Nov. 5, workers from Tidwell Construction started removing asphalt from the bridge, which was closed on Sept. 22 after the bridge’s east pier washed out after days of heavy rain.

The project is costing $900,000 and will be fully funded through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

City officials originally estimated it would take $2 million and one to two years to rebuild the bridge but now are saying it will be open to drivers at the end of March. Tidwell Construction, which was awarded the contract Nov. 3, will work at the site six days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The current design plans call for 14-foot-wide car lane in each direction and 5 1/2-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides.

The bridge will be lengthened by approximately five feet, and the vertical elevation of the bridge will increase about half a foot.