Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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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.

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Sports
Prep Team Finish

The Pauls Valley Panther Prep Team finished second in the OK Kids State Tournament losing in the championship game to Weathford 11-9. Members of the team are sitting right to left Chase Sawyer, Jared Perry, Kaleb Galaviz, Tyler Thompson, Clint Cosby and Ethan Gonzalez. Back row from left are coach Colby Arie, Jeremy Sawyer, Keegan Moore, Tyler Butts, Matt Perry and coach Greg Perry.

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    Lisa D. Brinkley of Springdale, Arkansas was born to Clarence (C. L.) and Bertha (Wright) Pelfrey on November 3, 1947 in Yuba City, California and passed from this life on July 15, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 66 years.

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  • Roger Glen Clayton

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  • Reba Joyce Dawson

    Reba Joyce Dawson of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma was born to Ben and Gertie Mae (Gates) Crawford Jr. on July 28, 1934 in Carthage, Texas and passed from this life on July 8, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 79 years.

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  • Lawatha Dean Gilley

    Lawatha Dean Gilley, of Pauls Valley, passed away July 8, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 80 years.

    July 17, 2014

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