Tempers Flare Over Closed Bridge From Lexington To Purcell - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Tempers Flare Over Closed Bridge From Lexington To Purcell

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The bridge connecting Lexington and Purcell is shut down and many people now have a 34 mile detour to deal with for a trip that used to be only a mile long. The bridge connecting Lexington and Purcell is shut down and many people now have a 34 mile detour to deal with for a trip that used to be only a mile long.
LEXINGTON, Oklahoma -

Tempers flare in the small cities and towns near Purcell and Lexington as motorists try to get used to a new reality in the area. The bridge connecting Lexington and Purcell is shut down and many people now have a 34 mile detour to deal with for a trip that used to be only a mile long.

"I'm doing a hundred and forty miles," said Don Mills. "Seventy miles, round trip."

Mills has to drop his wife off and pick her up from a job just over the bridge in Purcell. He is not alone. According to a spokesperson with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, 9,000 vehicles were traveling across the bridge every day before it was shut down.

"It's totally inconvenient!" said Mills. "We don't have nothing here in Lexington. No grocery stores. Nothing like that. We go to Purcell."

The detour has affected businesses on both sides of the bridge too. Many restaurants and businesses in Purcell depend on traffic from cities and towns to the east for business.

The bridge closure has caused problems for deliveries too. Dan Palmer, who was making a delivery to Pearson Lumber Co. in Lexington, said the 34.1 mile detour put him behind schedule for the rest of the day.

2/1/2014 Related Story: Bridge Closure Frustrates Residents In Lexington, Purcell

"We're just stuck over here now," said Angie Pearson, who was taking Palmer's delivery. She has tried to warn suppliers about the detour before they get to the bridge and have to turn around.

"There's people we haven't seen in a week because they just don't want to make it. They can go to Norman and stop there," said Pearson.

Like thousands more in the area, she is trying to get used to life without the bridge.

"We went there at least four times a day every day," she added. "That's where our grocery store is. The dentist is over there, the doctors are over there."

The Lexington city manager told News 9 that there was a meeting at city hall on Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. where ODOT officials would address the city council. He was expecting standing room only. ODOT officials told News 9 on Friday that the bridge could be closed for several months while they make repairs and said it was not even safe enough for people to walk on.

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