SOMERS POINT - Demolition of the Beesleys Point Bridge began Monday morning as crews began breaking apart the portion over Drag Channel.

Two excavator machines sat on top of floating barges in the water as one worked on the span that has been crumbling since it closed nine years ago. In some places, sheets of metal covered holes in the decking so that fishermen were able to use it still as a fishing pier.

Work was expected to begin last week but was delayed, partly because the project is more sensitive to stormy weather since it is using barges in the water. Work started with a cloudy sky and could be delayed due to weather this week.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority contracted the work, even though the span is owned by Cape May County, because it will make the project to build a new southbound Garden State Parkway bridge easier.

Workers are expected to first demolish the northern half of the Beesleys Point Bridge, leaving the southern half for at least the fall, when boating and bathing activities on the Upper Township side of the Great Egg Harbor Bay are mostly finished for the season.