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Portage Creek Wildlife Area bridges out for next several months
ARLINGTON Visitors to the Portage Creek Wildlife Area this fall might have noticed that its been missing its few manmade structures, since its bridges were removed in late September, with an eye toward improving them for both humans and native wildlife.
City of Arlington Natural Resources Director Bill Blake pointed out that the bridges suffered from slippery decking and an absence of handrails, making their safety less than ideal for visitors of all ages. Snohomish County Parks and Recreation Senior Parks Planner Sharon Swan likewise noted that the bridges contained creosote and offered relatively poor clearance for fish migration, thus making them equally ill-suited to the very environment that the wildlife area was created to restore. Both Blake and Swan admitted that it will be at least a matter of months before new bridges are installed, but Blake added the wildlife areas two entrances ensure that most of it is still accessible to visitors.
Any timetable for installing new bridges will depend heavily upon the weather during the next several months since construction becomes impractical in the area with the presence of soggy soils, floods or frozen waters. As such, Blake acknowledged that construction could be delayed until January, while Swan estimated that construction could take approximately three months, although shed hate to hazard a guess, since construction equipment will need to be placed to prevent it from interfering with the ecosystem.
While this window remains variable for the time being, Blake and Swan hope that visitors will look to the long-term benefits that the construction is intended to provide, with both recalling the process thats been made in restoring the wildlife area within the past few years alone. Blake discouraged visitors from trying to cross the streams without the bridges, while repeating his usual advisory to do no damage and leave no trace.