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      Bridge connecting Lexington to Purcell closed for all drivers

      The James C. Nance Bridge connecting Lexington to Purcell has been closed indefinitely to all drivers after it was deemed unsafe.

      Ten days ago, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation deemed the bridge unsafe for large loads and lowered the limit to vehicles under five tons. That limit included fire trucks, ambulances and school buses.

      Later that same day, officials raised it back up to 16 tons after inspectors recalculated the limit.

      On Friday, ten days after the changes, ODOT says they closed the bridge to all drivers.

      According to ODOT, engineers closed the bridge spanning the South Canadian River because of safety concerns. The bridge is the only direct connection from Purcell to Lexington. ODOT recommends drivers us State Highway 9 in Norman to get to either side of the river.

      ODOT says the cracks initially found ten days ago have continued to spread and the bridge will remain closed until the cracking can be stopped.

      The James C. Nance Memorial Bridge opened in 1938 and carries about 9,000 vehicles a day.

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