Early morning walkers at Lake Sacajawea had to detour around the area near the log arches Monday as City Parks Department crews demolished the structure.
Crews used a chainsaw and backhoe to take down the weighty logs, which were about two feet in diameter and between 14 and 20 feet long. The city decided to remove the arches after an inspection last week revealed rot at the base of the logs was too extensive to repair, according to a city press release.
The arch was installed without a moisture barrier in 1976, allowing the damp Washington weather to eat away at the logs, according to the release. The arch is a gateway to Hemlock Plaza and one of the focal points of the annual Go 4th Festival Independence Day celebration.
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The Longview ‘23 Club donated the log arches for the city’s 50th anniversary celebration, according to the press release, and the arch was modeled off arches used in the 1924 Pageant of Progress that marked the founding of the city.
Arleen Hubble, representing the Longview ‘23 Club, said the club plans to replace the logs by the new year, as the arch is too important to the park’s history to be without. The group is currently seeking donations of lumber or other assistance for the new arch.