A floating crane is ready to start work to remove damaged girders for the access bridge to Kansai International Airport on Sept. 12. (Video taken by Kazuhiro Ichikawa)

Work started on Sept. 12 to remove bridge girders that were severely damaged after being hit by a tanker set adrift during Typhoon No. 21, which cut off a main access route to Kansai International Airport.

West Nippon Expressway Co. (NEXCO West Japan) plans to complete the removal on the southern side of the road bridge on Sept. 14 if the work proceeds smoothly.

The two girders together measure about 188 meters in length and weigh about 2,000 tons. A floating crane is being used to lift them out.

Parts of the damaged girders have also covered the railway track on the bridge, disrupting services of West Japan Railway Co. and Nankai Electric Railway Co.

After removing the girders, the railway track and electrical wiring will be repaired.

Train services are expected to resume by the end of this month, about a week earlier than initially anticipated.

The first runway and the southern part of Terminal 1, both flooded during the typhoon, are expected to be reopened by the end of the week.