A portion of Interstate 495 reopened at 5 p.m. Thursday -- about eight weeks after Delaware Transportation officials closed the stretch to repair supporting columns that were tilting.
The bridge, which typically carries about 90,000 vehicles daily, was closed June 2 after officials learned of the unsafe conditions.
DelDOT originally estimated the southbound lanes would open on Labor Day, Sept. 1. But officials with the transportation agency announced Thursday afternoon that the southbound drivers could begin using the roadway.
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The northbound lanes remain closed, but will be reopened before the start of September, said Delaware Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt.
The damage and subsequent closure of the highway led Google to remove the bridge from its online maps in early June.
The internet giant has yet to update its system to include the reopened highway -- often used to bypass Interstate 95.
Realigning the tilting bridge will cost an estimated $35 million.