Mayfly swarm forces bridge closure

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WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. -- Sunday night one lane of the 462 bridge in Wrightsville was shutdown due to mayflies covering the roadway and impacting visibility. Saturday night it was even worse. Like snow , mayflies flew through the air and covered the Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Wrightsville,York County. They caused three separate motorcycle crashes on Saturday night.

"This is the worst I ever saw it. I grew up in Wrightsville, my whole life and we never had it that bad that it impinged driving abilities" said Wrightsville Fire Chief Chad Livelsberger.

The department was at the scene for about 20 minutes and yet, in that short amount of time, their truck was caked with flies.

"We were swatting the flies away. They were getting in our mouths, down our gear" said Livelsberger.
It is the first time the bridge has been shutdown due to flies.

"We just thought it was way unsafe. A. visibility was 0 and it was like driving on ice" Livelsberger said.
Sunday morning crews came to clean the road. Piles of mayflies are under every light. Some are stacked as high as two feet.

"I didn't think it would be this bad. That's actually why I parked my car on the Wrightsville side and came to look for myself. Last year, it was pretty bad but not as bad as this" said Columbia resident Todd Wagner.

The flies have become an attraction. Motorists are slowing to see them and it is the talk of the town.New flies hatch everyday so crews are waiting to see what the summer nights will bring. They are coming up with ideas on how to curb the problem like turning out the lights on the bridge.

Experts we have spoken to before say there's no real reason why some hatches are so big. It is a sign of clean water. If there is one bright side they say the fish are happy!

Original post:

WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. -- The 462 bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville was closed to traffic Saturday night because of a swarm of mayflies. The insects were drawn to the lights on the bridge in such great numbers that police said they were causing traffic accidents. The mayflies piled up several inches deep on the road.

This picture is of the grill of a Wrightsville fire truck. FOX43's Leah Kirstein will have more tonight, on FOX43 News at Ten.