Fish Hatchery Road Bridge No. 61B Removal
Bridge removal is complete
This project is now complete. The bridge was removed in summer 2021. Permanent gates were installed in early 2022 to help prevent pedestrians and cyclists from entering the closed-off area.
Fish Hatchery Road Bridge No. 61B was 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 spanned 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 permanently removed the damaged bridge in July 2021 and will install locked gates to protect the public.
The bridge removal did not impact parking or how people currently access the area for recreation. The bridge support piles and roadway abutments will remain in place in case they are used in the future for habitat restoration or other use.
Why King County removed this bridge
The area surrounding the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge is prone to flooding. In late 2020, King County determined that the benefits of removing the bridge altogether outweighed 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. Removal of the bridge does not affect local access to residences on both sides of the bridge.
Frequently asked questions
In October 2019, when the west-side erosion got worse, King County crews relocated the path to the east side.
As the project developed, we received more input from many community members and partners. The decision to take down the bridge was made at the Fall City Community Association meeting held in October 2020.