The St. Francis Drive bridge at Holland Avenue reopened earlier this week, thanks to a little patchwork that made the busy route safe before a full replacement begins.

The bridge was closed May 30 after a car struck one of the side railings, making it unsafe for use, officials said.  The original replacement was to begin this summer and be completed by December.

City leaders estimated it would cost $5,000 to repair the damage. They decided not to spend that money on a structure that would be torn down within a short time.

Since last Wednesday, the city was able to get a used side rail from a county project. City workers re-fabricated the part and installed it Monday. That was good news for businesses in the area.

“The bridge being closed has been a hindrance for our customers to be able to get to us,” said Justin Hardy, manager of Philadelphia Gun and Pawn. “But there are alternate routes where people can find us, it just takes a little longer.

“The city has stayed in touch with us. They have been working on it, and they have kept us updated.”

In its current state, the bridge can only hold three tons, meaning that big trucks and school buses must find another route.

Mayor James A. Young said the city was able to get the old side rail part from a bridge that had been replaced in the south part of Neshoba County. The part was installed on the bridge, thus making it safe again. The work was done Monday.

“The weight restrictions will be the same but at least we were able to get the bridge re-opened,” Mayor Young said. “Having that bridge out hurt our local businesses in the area and we wanted to do what we could to help.”