Engineers have begun removing a historic Otago bridge destroyed in July's Taieri flood.
The Sutton suspension bridge near Middlemarch built in 1875 was in the middle of being restored by the city council when the second largest flood on record hit the Taieri River.
It is thought scaffolding in the bridge acted like a dam and brought it down but that has to be confirmed in an investigation report due in mid-November.
Engineers managed to retrieve one half today and will attempt to lift the other half tomorrow.
The council's transport delivery manager, Josh von Pein, said it is a major step towards understanding what went wrong.
"The consultants we've got looking at it, first want to have a look at the bridge out of the water because up until today a lot of the bridge has been covered by debris and a metre of water, but after today consultants should have a better look at it and start looking at those modes of failure."
Two large diggers at the scene today have begun lifting the main span of the bridge out of the river bed, dragging the two pieces to side ready for removal.
The heritage stone from the bridge's pillars has been removed already pending a decision about whether it is feasible to restore the bridge.