Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Front Page

February 12, 2014

Crisis mode for Purcell-Lex bridge

Purcell, OK — Governor Mary Fallin has declared a State of Emergency in Cleveland and McClain counties due to the closure of the James C. Nance Memorial Bridge separating the cities of Lexington and Purcell.

The bridge was closed last week after numerous cracks were found in its supports.

Lexington and Purcell are less than two miles apart. Since the bridge closure, commuters living in one town but working in another have been forced to take detours of roughly 40 miles, dramatically increasing commute times and fuel expenses.

Safety concerns have also arisen as ambulances are being forced to take the same detours.

After touring the bridge with local officials late last week, Fallin told Purcell and Lexington residents that “help is on the way.”

“This bridge is a safety hazard and is at risk of collapse,” said Fallin.

“Keeping it open would have threatened lives. It had to close. Unfortunately, that has created an economic hardship, not to mention a severe inconvenience, for the people of Lexington and Purcell,” she said.

“This is a challenging time, but these communities are not going-it-alone. We are making every resource available to lighten the burden this has caused for local residents.

“We are working hard not only to dramatically shorten the timeline for the repair of this bridge, but to put in place interim plans to help these communities while work is being finished.”

The State of Emergency makes monetary reimbursements available to Cleveland and McClain counties as well as Lexington and Purcell.

Each entity can receive up to $100,000 of state dollars to reimburse expenses incurred due to the bridge closure. Bus services and ambulance services are both expenses that qualify for reimbursement.

Additionally, ODOT is partnering with transit agencies and funding shuttles between Lexington and Purcell with multiple runs throughout the day. The shuttle service begins today.

The agency is also dramatically speeding up their bidding and construction process.

As one example, a normal bidding process that often takes about 160 days before a project is let to contract will take about 3 or 4 days under this emergency process.

“A bridge rehabilitation project like this usually takes over a year to complete,” said ODOT Director Michael Patterson.

“Governor Fallin has made it very clear, the people in this community can’t wait that long. She has instructed us to speed that up by three times. We are doing everything we can to speed this process up and finish this project in a matter of months.”

To assist citizens with up to date information, a link has been placed on the ODOT website detailing a timeline and schedule of daily shuttles and updates as they become available.

See the ODOT website at http://www.okladot.state.ok.us and press the Lexington/Purcell Link on the front page.

1
Text Only
Local News
Sports
Obituaries
  • J.W. Peters

    J.W. Peters of Elmore City, Oklahoma was born to Tom and Myrtle (Travis) Peters on October 10, 1927 in Roff, Oklahoma and passed from this life on April 21, 2014 in Plano, Texas at the age of 86 years.

    April 23, 2014

  • Truman Lee McCurley

    Truman Lee McCurley, 72, formerly of Pauls Valley, passed from this life April 17, 2014 with his family at his bed side at home. Truman made his home in Tulsa.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fred E. Cochran

    Fred E. Cochran of Pauls Valley passed away April 20, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 74 years.

    April 23, 2014

  • Oneta K. Goss

    Oneta K. Goss of Pauls Valley passed away April 4, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 90 years.

    April 8, 2014

Community News
  • Capitol trek is for county jails

    Tuesday, April 22 is the day for county law enforcement officials, including a few from Garvin County, to let lawmakers know what they think about a recent shift in policy taking state prisoners out of their county jails.

    April 22, 2014

  • New race set for this summer
State News
Speedy

"Speedy" the chihuahua was reunited with his Oklahoma City family thanks to a microchip after missing for two years.

Business
Business Marquee
Entertainment Reviews
Book Thief Poster

Art for "The Book Thief," available for rent on DVD.

  • ‘Book Thief’ an underappreciated gem

    The atrocities and crimes committed during the Nazis’ rise to power may be one of the most documented time periods for cinema, but that does not mean that all the great stories have been told.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Air Force: $4.2B Saved From Grounding A-10s Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police
Stocks