PURCELL Okla. — Drivers who travel along the Purcell/ Lexington bridge may soon have to prepare for delays as crews install beams on the bridge.
The $38 million project to replace the old bridge began in late 2017, and it is now entering its next phase.
Lottie Appleman-Maine, a Lexington resident says the bridge has been a problem for years and she’s glad it is finally being fixed.
“If I wanted to do something in Purcell, I had to drive to Norman, to Purcell, back to Norman and then back,” said Appleman-Maine.
Now, officials warn that drivers may need to prepare for delays during the next few weeks.
Officials with the Purcell Police Department said drivers need to prepare since the bridge will be closed periodically during the next few weeks for the installation of beams.
Authorities say the bridge will only be closed for approximately 10 minutes at a time, but it still could affect drivers’ commutes.
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.