Bridge Connecting Purcell, Lexington Closed For Several Months - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Bridge Connecting Purcell, Lexington Closed For Several Months

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Authorities say 22 cracks were found in the bridge beams, ranging from one inch to almost seven inches. Authorities say 22 cracks were found in the bridge beams, ranging from one inch to almost seven inches.
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma -

The James C. Nance Memorial Bridge connecting Purcell and Lexington is expected to be closed for several months.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, on Monday, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission asked probing questions to ODOT engineers on ways to expedite repairs to the bridge, which was shut down on Friday, January 31.

1/31/2014 Related Story: James C. Nance Bridge Closed Due To Safety Reasons

Authorities say 22 cracks were found in the bridge beams, ranging from one inch to almost seven inches. The bridge, which has a similar design to the Minnesota I-35W bridge that collapsed in 2007, has cracks severe enough that the bridge could potentially collapse under its own weight.

Crews are currently preventing the cracks from becoming larger. Engineers say they are working on plans to repair the cracks.

It is estimated that a contract will be awarded in March following specialized design plans by truss bridge experts Modjeski and Masters, who were consulted because of the bridge's fracture critical design.

ODOT officials say they are in the early stages of preparing a replacement for the bridge, but construction is likely years away due to the $40 million price tag.

A signed detour using I-35 and SH-9 is in place, causing many to drive 40 minutes out of their way.

Northbound US-77 and eastbound SH-39 traffic should use I-35 to eastbound SH-9, then south on US-77. Westbound SH-39 should use US-77 north to westbound SH-9, then south on I-35, according to ODOT officials.

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