Baily bridge possible temporary fix for Purcell-Lexington bridge

Published: February 15, 2014
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The recent closure of the 76-year-old Lexington-Purcell bridge has residents clamoring for a quick solution. During World War II, Bailey bridges were the Allies' quick solution to the problem of German and Italian armies destroying bridges as they retreated. More than 3,000 of these portable, prefabricated, truss bridges were built in Italy and Sicily alone, with the longest being 1,126 feet. An example of a Bailey bridge that was assembled by the Oklahoma Army National Guard is on display at the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City. Although Gov. Mary Fallin may have justifiably rejected a stopgap "low-level crossing" from Purcell to Lexington, Bailey bridges should nevertheless be considered as a viable option for any community that loses its bridge. This was the option that Scio, Ore., took in 2007 when a bridge was temporarily replaced by the Oregon National Guard.

Cole Herndon, Oklahoma City



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