This dolos has to be moved from its Broadway home, but where should it go? | Photos by Andrew Goff


A group of Humboldt Bay history-loving folks are trying their darndest to save the Broadway dolos from demolition. If the City of Eureka does not approve a financially viable plan to relocate the iconic hunk of concrete in the next two weeks, the dolos will be destroyed.

(To be clear, we’re only talking about one dolos. The plural version is “Dolosse.” They are those gigantic wave-dissipating concrete structures piled out on the jetty.)

The effort to relocate the beloved dolos from its existing location at the former Chamber of Commerce site came about last week after the Eureka City Council voted 3-1, with Councilmember Kati Moulton dissenting and Councilmember Kim Bergel absent, to move forward with the demolition of the dolos to make way for a new hotel. 

Can’t the City just move the dolos somewhere else, you ask?

Yes, but it’s really, really expensive. Moving the 42-ton dolos to Coast Guard Park at the intersection of Broadway, Fairfield and Del Norte streets, as staff previously suggested, would set the City back at least $50,000 and involve large equipment and significant traffic control measures along U.S. Highway 101. In contrast, demolition and debris removal costs would run closer to $10,000.

The City is working with Leroy Zerlang, chair of the Humboldt Harbor Safety Committee, and several local business owners to find a cheaper method of moving the dolos. 

“North Coast Fabricators has a 110-ton crane that could pick the dolos up and Figas Construction and a couple of other companies might have a lowboy available that could move it,” Zerlang told the Outpost in a recent interview. “Now, I’m not saying that these guys would do it for nothing, but it will be far from $50,000. …A lot of people will be very upset if it is destroyed. It’s historic.”

The dolos was donated to the City in 1972 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the reconstruction of the Humboldt Bay jetties, according to the Oct. 18, 1972 edition of the Times-Standard.

Dolos no. 1,972

The 1,972nd dolos produced by the Umpqua River Navigation Company and donated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, found a safe and sound display on the Eureka Chamber of Commerce parking space on Broadway, Tuesday. The huge concrete form, weighing 42 tons, is usually used in jetty construction on Humboldt Bay. The chamber requested one for display purposes, and the heavy jack-like dolos was brought from the North Jetty across Samoa Bridge, down Fourth Street to its Broadway location.

The single dolos on Broadway is representative of the entirety of Humboldt Bay, Zerlang said. “Without the dolos, we wouldn’t have an entrance bar. We wouldn’t have commercial fishing. We wouldn’t have sports fishing. We wouldn’t have ship traffic. We wouldn’t have any of that. That’s how important these [dolosse] are.”

There are a few possible locations up for consideration: Coast Guard Park (as previously mentioned), Madaket Plaza, the site of the Wharfinger Building or somewhere on Woodley Island.

“We’re trying to finalize a new location but we need to make sure that the foundation can accommodate the weight of the dolos,” City Manager Miles Slattery told the Outpost this morning. “It’s likely to go somewhere near the Wharfinger or somewhere down on Madaket Plaza, but we need to finalize a location and then have the engineer make sure it will be viable in that location.”

Slattery emphasized that there is “no time” to return to the city council with a new proposal, so the City is counting on folks like Zerlang to find a cheaper way to move the dolos.

“We need to match the cost of demolition. That is the direction that was provided by the council,” he said. “…We are not going anywhere near $50,000. [The cost to relocate] needs to be somewhere in the vicinity of what it costs to demolish. It can change by 10 percent or something like that, but it sure as heck is not going to double or triple.”

Councilmember Kim Bergel said she would be in favor of moving the dolos to Madaket Plaza where it could be displayed for tourists and community members alike.

“I mean, it could sit at Coast Guard Plaza with a plaque, but who’s gonna stop and read that?” she said in recent interview with the Outpost. “Whereas when you’re out on Madaket or down in Old Town you’re more likely to stop by and look at it. We’re just looking at whatever we can do to maintain this piece of history and to move forward in a way that gives people the opportunity for people to learn about it.”

Councilmember Natalie Arroyo agreed and said she will keep working with Zerlang and Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 to find a new home for the dolos. “…Ultimately I just want to be sure that this cool piece of history is saved,” she said. “…Given my love of Humboldt Bay and our maritime sector, this has a special place in my heart!”

What do you think the dolos should go? Take the LoCO poll here!

“This dolos, weighing 42 tons, the 1,972nd of 4,796 cast by the Umpqua River Navigation Company for the reconstruction of the Humboldt Bay Jetties, is dedicated to the seafaring men of Humboldt — past, present, and future.”