Beautiful fall weather in store for Thanksgiving week

ODOT officials announce plans to replace Purcell/ Lexington bridge

PURCELL, Okla. – Less than three years after major repairs were made to a busy roadway that connects two cities, transportation official are already preparing for the construction of a replacement bridge.

In 2014, crews were forced to make repairs on the James C. Nance bridge after large cracks were found in the support beams.

The bridge, which connects the cities of Purcell and Lexington, was shut down for several months as repairs were made.

Since the bridge was closed, drivers were forced to take an alternate route that added an extra 45 minutes to their commute. As a result, businesses suffered and Gov. Mary Fallin asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to make an economic injury declaration.

Now, officials with the Department of Transportation announced that a new bridge will take its place within the next two years.

Officials say half of the new bridge will be built alongside the existing structure and all traffic will be moved over during the first phase of construction, which is expected to take a year.

After that, the old bridge will be removed to make room for the second half of the new bridge.

Transportation officials say it is important for the bridge to remain open during all stages of construction.

“This bridge is a lifeline between two cities that are part of one community. We thank the people of Purcell and Lexington for their patience in 2014 and are so excited that this day has already come,” Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson said.

The project is expected to take about two years to complete and costs $36 million.