The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin
The Times 

Bridge Demolition is Underway

Fish are accommodated and history is preserved


Dena Martin

Waitsburg Public Works Director Jim Lynch takes is nice and easy with the backhoe while Jake Adams gently guides the historic light post after separating it from the Main Street Bridge. John Langford (l) did the bulk of the dirty work, sawing the pole from the bridge on a hot Friday afternoon. The light post will eventually become part of a historic display.

WAITSBURG – Contractors wasted no time getting down to business on the demolition of Waitsburg's Main Street Bridge. The bridge was closed, as scheduled, on July 5. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife workers performed in-stream work while contractor, Harry Johnson Excavation and Plumbing began tearing up the Bolles Road side of the bridge access.

Dena Martin

Prior to bridge demolition, WDFW workers used electrofishing equipment to catch fish under the bridge and safely transport them downstream. Electrofishing affects the movement of the fish so that they can be caught, but results in no permanent harm. Nets have been placed upstream from the bridge to prevent fish getting through and fish are transported in buckets from the upstream side of the bridge to the downstream side, daily.

WDFW workers placed nets across the Touchet River, both upstream and downstream from the bridge. They then used electrofishing equipment to capture the fish directly under the bridge and place then downstream.

Electrofishing uses the direct current flowing between a submerged cathode and anode to safely capture fish. Fish swim toward the anode where they can be caught and moved. Fish stopped by the downstream net will be moved below the bridge on a regular basis. City crew employee, Jake Adams, said six "very small" fish were transferred the first day.

While contractors continued demolition on July 6, public works supervisor Jim Lynch, worked with crew members Adams and John Langford, worked to remove one of the historic light posts, intact. With a bit of effort, the pole was safely detached in one piece and will be stored until it becomes part of an interpretive display, at a later date.

A portion of the bridge rail, showcasing the open window design, will also be removed to be used in the historic display.

Drivers wishing to access Bolles Road are requested to use Garden Street during the bridge demolition and construction. The project is scheduled to be completed in late October or early November.


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