Report: New section of Purcell/ Lexington bridge to open to the public

LEXINGTON, Okla. – Drivers in Lexington and Purcell will likely get their first chance to drive on a new bridge connecting the cities this week.

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.

Less than three years after the repairs were made, officials with the Department of Transportation announced that plans for a new bridge were in the works.

“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 in 2017.

Officials estimated the entire project would take about two years.

On Tuesday, the Purcell Register reported that the first half of the new bridge between Purcell and Lexington was expected to open on Wednesday.