James C. Nance Memorial Bridge
|James C. Nance Memorial Bridge|
The Nance Bridge as seen from the Purcell train station.
|Carries||2 lanes of US-77 / SH-39|
|Maintained by||Oklahoma Department of Transportation|
|Total length||1,110.1 metres (3,642 ft)|
|Closed||Temporarily closed, January 31,2014.|
US Highway 77 Bridge at Canadian River
Bridge site in U.S. state of Oklahoma
|Location||US 77 over the Canadian R, Lexington, Oklahoma|
|Area||3.5 acres (1.4 ha)|
|Built||1938 closed = 2014|
|Architectural style||Other, Deck Truss Bridge|
|NRHP Reference #||03000882|
|Added to NRHP||September 2, 2003|
The James C. Nance Memorial Bridge is a deck truss bridge crossing the Canadian River between Purcell and Lexington, Oklahoma. The bridge carries US 77 and State Highway 39 from McClain County to Cleveland County. The bridge is named for James C. Nance, longtime newspaper publisher and former member of the Oklahoma Legislature.
The 1938 construction of this bridge, one of the longest in the state, was instrumental in the development of Purcell as a retail and employment hub for the "Heart of Oklahoma" trade area comprising Purcell, Lexington, Washington, Wayne, Payne, Slaughterville, Dibble, Cole, Wanette, Goldsby, Byars, Paoli and Rosedale. Traffic using the bridge allows trade and commerce to freely flow in this retail trade area hub of southern McClain County, southern Cleveland County, Southern Pottawatomie County, and northern area of Garvin County, and eastern portion of Grady county.
On January 31, 2014, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation closed the bridge temporarily but indefinitely, until recently discovered major structural damage and deficiencies due to aging and cracking of the truss system can be evaluated and repaired. The bridge may be reopened to lighter vehicles once sufficient initial repairs are made; however, heavier vehicles such as emergency vehicles, school buses and larger trucks will not be allowed to cross unless the bridge can be repaired to full integrity. If the bridge cannot be fully repaired, it will likely have to be rebuilt with costs exceeding $ 40,000,000.00.
The closure is expected to cause substantial economic disruption to the City of Purcell, as the bridge delivers thousands a vehicles a day from southern Cleveland county and points east to Interstate 35 in Purcell, the major north-south interstate corridor in Oklahoma. Conversely, the closure is expected to be an economic boon to the City of Lexington's sales tax receipts and local businesses in southern Cleveland county, as local residents can no longer conduct commerce in Purcell, and travelers from points east must still pass through Lexington, but instead turn north for an additional 15 mile journey through rural Cleveland county to the next available access to Interstate 35 on the south side of Norman.
Local News Article: 
Municipal Water Source
In 1982, the James C. Nance bridge was structurally reinforced and a large elevated pipeline was attached underneath to carry the bulk of Purcell's water supply which comes from deep water wells which tap into an aquifer east of Lexington.
- Oklahoma Highway Department
- State of Oklahoma