NORMAN — The planned reopening of the Canadian River bridge connecting Purcell and Lexington is still more than two months away. Some of the businesses that depended on cross-bridge trade may not make it that long.
Gov. Mary Fallin, at the encouragement of Slaughterville Republican legislator Bobby Cleveland, has asked President Obama for an Economic Injury Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
If it is approved by the president, qualified businesses from both communities could seek low-interest loans. It’s similar to the disaster assistance provided businesses after the tornado that swept through Moore on May 20.
The bridge was closed Jan. 31 and contractors began emergency repairs on the bridge Feb. 14. A June 14 reopening is anticipated. However, the contractor gets a cash bonus if the repairs are completed before then.
We’ll cross our fingers on an early reopening. In the meantime, we join Fallin and Cleveland in requesting the disaster assistance declaration. It’s a small step that can be a major difference in jobs and family livelihood.