PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The 800-ton south span of the Memorial Bridge has been removed safely from the structure that had connected New Hampshire to Maine.

Onlookers clapped Thursday afternoon as they watched the float-out of the span on a barge. It’s been secured to a pier in the Piscataqua River for now.

The Portsmouth Herald reported the span eventually will leave from there and be taken to a recycling center in Massachusetts and cut up into scrap metal.

The next step will be the removal of the Scott Avenue bridge, a span that begins at the water’s edge and ends by a parking lot.

Work crews began dismantling the nearly 90-year-old bridge earlier this year. A new one is planned connecting Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine, next year.