Delaware transportation officials are partially reopening a bridge on a key East Coast interstate that was closed in early June because several supporting columns were tilting.

Officials said southbound lanes of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River were reopening at 5 p.m. Thursday, about a month earlier than expected.

Officials said repairs have gone faster than expected. A jacking operation to realign the south side of the bridge was completed about midday Thursday. Six heavily loaded dump trucks were used to weight-test the bridge before the decision was made to reopen the southbound lanes.

Northbound lanes are expected to reopen by Labor Day.

Officials have said the bridge was damaged by the weight of a huge dirt mound that was dumped next to it by a contractor.