Fish Hatchery Road Bridge No. 61B Removal
Bridge removal planned for spring/summer 2021
March 22, 2021
The County has decided to permanently remove the damaged bridge and will not repair or replace it with a new bridge. The bridge will be removed in spring/summer 2021.
Fish Hatchery Road Bridge No. 61B is a King County-owned and maintained short span bridge located in Fall City on SE Fish Hatchery Road, near State Route 202 (SE Fall City – Snoqualmie Road). The bridge spans an unnamed outlet stream that feeds into the Snoqualmie River.
The 20-foot-long, timber-supported Fish Hatchery Bridge was originally built in 1950. King County has repaired the bridge several times, and permanently closed it to vehicle traffic in 2018 due to severe flood damage. Flood events in 2019 and 2020 have continued to damage the bridge and Fish Hatchery Road further.
In response to community and project-partner feedback, the County has decided to permanently remove the damaged bridge and not repair or replace it with a new bridge. We plan to permanently take the bridge out of service in spring or summer 2021 once the County has secured the necessary permits. After the bridge deck and girders are removed, we will install traffic barrier gates across the roadway leading up to the bridge from each direction. Roadside warning signs will alert drivers that the bridge is no longer in service.
We do not anticipate construction to remove the bridge will impact parking or how people currently access the area for recreation. There will be safety measures established around the work zone to protect workers and the public. Special considerations and methods also will be in place during bridge removal work to protect the river and surrounding environment.
Why King County is removing this bridge
The area surrounding the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge is prone to flooding. Since removal of the bridge will not affect local access to residences on both sides of the bridge, it has been determined that the benefits of removing the bridge altogether outweigh the environmental and financial costs of building a replacement bridge large enough to withstand flooding. Removal of Fish Hatchery Bridge also will help improve the local habitat by allowing a more natural connection between the Snoqualmie River and the 17-acre wetland northeast of Fish Hatchery Road.
Bridge removal is anticipated to start in spring/summer 2021 and will last up to three weeks.