The Norman Transcript


January 23, 2014

Bridge repairs ahead

NORMAN — The bridge over the Canadian River that connects Lexington and Purcell has long been the lifeline between the two communities. Built in 1938, the James C. Nance bridge got a reprieve when the interstate opened with the crossing at Norman in the 1950s.

Now, the two-lane span is becoming Exhibit A in the state’s list of structurally deficient bridges. It was put on the deficient list in 2012 because of its outdated design standards.

Trucks and buses that head east off of the interstate will now have to find alternative routes while crews from the state Department of Transportation look for a way to repair the span.

Law enforcement reported significant damage to the east end of the bridge, closest to Lexington. Engineers originally dropped the load limit to five tons, which would have eliminated school buses and some emergency vehicles. It will now have a posted 16-ton weight limit.

Following the 2002 I-40 Arkansas River bridge collapse, Oklahomans began to get serious about replacing outdated bridges. The collapse, caused by an errant boat, forced the detour of an estimated 20,000 vehicles per day onto an outdated bridge nearby.

In 2007, about 1,100 bridges were on the structurally deficient list. ODOT has since reduced that to 556.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • What’s causing these earthquakes?

    Much of north central Oklahoma has been experiencing about an earthquake a day this year. Statewide, there have been 2,270 small earthquakes so far compared to 2,848 in all of 2013. The question of whether oilfield “fracking” and ...

    July 19, 2014

  • Bankers and the pot biz

    It’s not a problem in Oklahoma — and probably won’t be for a long time, if ever — but bankers in states that allow medical and recreational marijuana have trouble dealing with marijuana-related businesses....

    July 18, 2014

  • Shelter petitioners face big challenge

    The debate over who should fund storm shelters for public schools has moved from politicians to the people....

    July 18, 2014

  • More jobs needed to boost economy

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s cautious optimism about the nation’s economy was reassuring to the stock market Tuesday. Yellen said the economy continued to improve but the recovery is not yet complete....

    July 17, 2014

  • Technology fights crime

    Cellular telephones are being used to solve crimes every day. Drivers routinely call in and report bad drivers, suspected drunk drivers or suspicious activity....

    July 17, 2014