A construction contractor has completed final repairs to a bridge connecting Purcell and Lexington, according to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
Final repairs have been completed to the James C. Nance Bridge on U.S. 77 / S.H. 39, and on Saturday, the temporary 15-ton load posting was increased for varying types of vehicles up to 36 tons.
Built in 1938, the bridge closed on the morning of January 31st after ODOT found a dozen cracks, and later discovered more than 100. The length repairs frustrated residents, who rely on the bridge.
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ODOT officials said on Saturday that fully loaded school buses will now be permitted to cross the bridge, as the previous restriction that applied to all vehicles was replaced with a three-level load posting that applies to specific types of trucks.
With the close proximity to I-35, the movement of heavy commercial truck traffic should remain mostly unaffected, officials said.
With completion of the repairs, ODOT will no longer require 24/7 surveillance of the bridge, but the Oklahoma Highway Patrol will continue to monitor the area and enforce truck size and weight regulations.
Construction crews are finishing painting the repaired areas of the bridge and cleaning the work site. Daily inspection of the bridge will continue for a time, as ODOT monitors the performance of the bridge repairs under truck traffic.
If no additional issues arise, officials said inspections may occur less frequently, but will continue until the bridge is eventually replaced.