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MARBLE FALLS — Construction efforts are under way for the second span of the U.S. 281 bridge project after the Lower Colorado River Authority verified the lake bottom is clear of debris.

The April 5 demolition of the remaining two piers left concrete rubble on the Lake Marble Falls floor that has since been cleared. On April 18, crews began drilling shafts for the new piers, which the Texas Department of Transportation said should take about a month to complete.

“Once the drilled shafts are complete, we will proceed with the construction of the cofferdam since the base of the column is three feet below the surface of the water,” TxDOT spokesperson Kelli Reyna said. “Next, we’ll begin building the column; start construction on the pier table, pier walls and pier deck; and then work will commence on the bridge deck.”

The second span will be built the same as the current span that crosses Lake Marble Falls. When complete, each span will carry two lanes of traffic north or south.

Reyna said the project remains on track to finish in the fall of 2014.

“It does appear that some time has been saved on the project by using explosives for the demolition process,” Reyna said. “However, it is not possible to know the exact time savings.”