Officials discover more cracks in Purcell-Lexington bridge, opening delayed

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

PURCELL, Okla. - What used to be a two-mile trip between small towns will continue to be a 35-mile commute much longer than residents nearby had hoped.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says more cracks have been discovered in a bridge that links the towns of Purcell and Lexington.

Traffic that normally travels across the U.S. 77/Hwy 29 bridge is now being rerouted to Hwy 9 in Norman, a 35 mile and 43 minute journey.

Click here for more information on the bridge.

The bridge was closed Jan. 31 after cracks were discovered.

Since that time, ODOT officials say hundreds of other cracks have been discovered in a lower beam that supports the bridge.

Experts say the problem lies with the manganese steel used on portions of the bridge, which is not holding up after decades of use.

ODOT says that manganese steel was not properly documented in the 1950's, so the cracks have caught them by surprise.

Cara's Sweet Café in Purcell estimates they have lost 25 percent of their normal business that comes from Lexington every day.

In the meantime, ODOT is offering transit services eight times a day between Lexington and Purcell.

Officials hope the bridge will be open to cars in late March or early April.

However, due to the additional cracks that have been discovered, the bridge won't be able to support all vehicles until early June.


More Local

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington DC Bureau

In Your Corner

More In Your Corner

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ
graphic with open for takeout or delivery

Latest News

More News


KFOR Podcasts

More Podcasts

Follow @KFOR on Twitter