Navigation Lock Outage

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials from Walla Walla conducted a 14-week-long maintenance outage from Dec. 12 to March 20, 2017. The extended outage was a coordinated effort between Portland and Walla Walla districts, as well as the commercial river […]

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials from Walla Walla conducted a 14-week-long maintenance outage from Dec. 12 to March 20, 2017.

Replacement of the remaining original gudgeon arm, linkage and the pintle assembly for both gate leafs. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo)

Replacement of the remaining original gudgeon arm, linkage and the pintle assembly for both gate leafs. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo)

The extended outage was a coordinated effort between Portland and Walla Walla districts, as well as the commercial river users such as ports, towboat companies and others, with the goal of accomplishing prioritized critical lock repairs during a jointly scheduled time frame to minimize the impacts of these lock closures. The districts manage the locks and dams that comprise the 359-mile-long federally authorized inland navigation channel extending upriver from Portland, Oregon, to Lewiston, Idaho.

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam upgraded critical components of the operating machinery for the downstream gate. Right and below: Replacement of the remaining original gudgeon arm, linkage and the pintle assembly for both gate leafs. (U.S. Army photo by Gina Baltrusch)

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam upgraded critical components of the operating machinery for the downstream gate. Right and below: Replacement of the remaining original gudgeon arm, linkage and the pintle assembly for both gate leafs. (U.S. Army photo by Gina Baltrusch)

Planning milestones, contract awards, fabrication and pre-outage staging work has occurred on schedule since the Corps officially announced the extended outage almost two years ago (May 2015), giving commercial navigation businesses and their customers maximum time to prepare for the locks to be out of service. Drawing from effective communications experiences during the 2010-2011 extended navigation lock outage, and keeping an open ear to the inland navigation industry, the Corps invited commercial navigation industry representatives to participate in regular communications about this upcoming outage and its associated major work projects.

Replacement of the remaining original gudgeon arm, linkage and the pintle assembly for both gate leafs.
“Aging infrastructure sometimes requires extensive non-routine repairs and improvements that cannot be completed within the traditional two week-long annual routine maintenance outages. Extended lock closures are very unusual and carefully coordinated between districts and commercial users to prioritize needed lock repairs and minimize the duration of closures,” said Hal Thomas, Walla Walla District’s navigation business line manager. “This work will improve the long-term functionality and safety of these locks as well as the overall reliability of the Columbia-Snake River navigation system as a whole.”

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