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February 14, 2014

Emergency repair of Lexington-Purcell bridge on transportation commission agenda

NORMAN — A contract to repair the closed Lexington-Purcell highway bridge over the Canadian River is scheduled for a vote during the Oklahoma Transportation Commission emergency meeting today.

Officials said the repairs could cost as much as $5 million. The contractor chosen will be given an estimated 45 days to complete the work, but financial incentives to get it done quicker could shorten the project time.

ODOT officials said as many as six contractors attended an informational meeting on the project. A spokesman said she expected as many as four bids, but some could combine forces on the project.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission will consider the contract at 1:30 p.m. today in the R.A. Ward Transportation Building, 200 N.E. 21st St. in Oklahoma City.

ODOT officials closed the James C. Nance Bridge on US-77/SH-39 for safety reasons Jan. 31 due to cracks found in structural bridge beams. Incentives/disincentives are up to $2,500 per hour, one of the most aggressive in ODOT history, officials said.

The contractor with the winning bid can earn hourly incentives for completing the work sooner than 45 days, and ODOT anticipates contractors will bid fewer days to receive an incentive.

The contract will include disincentives to penalize the contractor for finishing late. After the bridge reopens, the contractor could finish up work under the bridge for another month.

Since the closure, ODOT engineers and national bridge consultants have worked to design a repair project that will reopen the bridge quickly, safely and prolong the life of the bridge for another 10 years until it can be replaced. Contracts for bridge inspections associated with this project by two highly specialized bridge firms also will be considered by the commission.

The required bidding process was boiled down from 160 days to only three or four days. Once the contract is awarded today, work is anticipated to begin immediately.

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