17-024 Corps reassesses navigation lock work progress at Little Goose; return-to-service date delayed at least a week

Published March 9, 2017
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Due to a combination of factors, contracted work in-progress at Little Goose Dam’s navigation lock will require more time to complete than previously scheduled, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in the Walla Walla District announced, today.

The Corps recently reassessed work progress at Little Goose Lock and Dam and determined at least an additional week will be necessary to return the lock to service. The lock, was placed out of service Dec. 12, 2016, as part of a coordinated system-wide maintenance outage, and originally scheduled to reopen on March 20. The District intends to provide more fidelity on a specific return-to-service date on Tuesday, March 14, and will continue to provide updates as the contractor work progresses.

The main contributing factors to the delay in schedule include: 1) difficulty removing an existing pin on the operating cylinder and jacking system placement in early-January; 2) extreme winter weather conditions for multiple weeks impacted on-site contractor work efficiency; and 3) post-welding cracks appeared on gate structural members, requiring additional weld repairs.

Despite the prime contractor (Dix Corporation, of Spokane, Washington) implementing and sustaining a two-shift work week in early-January, and the Corps de-scoping noncritical repairs from the contract to gain time on the schedule, the contractor has been unable to recover from the delays. The contractor reassessed their schedule March 1, and notified the Corps they would not be able to return the navigation lock to service on March 20.

“We realize commercial navigation lock users need as early a decision as possible on changes to the outage schedule to adjust their own plans. We will continue to keep our stakeholders informed,” said Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. Damon Delarosa. “We understand the vital importance of the Columbia and Snake Rivers to the economy of the Pacific Northwest, and want to return all locks to service as safely and as quickly as possible.”

The Corps will continue to communicate and coordinate with the Columbia Snake River System users and stakeholders on the outage and the impacts of this additional time requirement.

“We understand and deeply regret the impact to our navigation stakeholders caused by this schedule change,” said Corps Project Manager Jason Williams. “The Corps has been partnering with our contractors at every level from the chief executives to on-site key personnel to identify and implement every possible method to minimize the delay.”

Navigation lock work at Little Goose involves major repairs to its downstream gate, including replacement of a gudgeon arm and linkage, replacement of the pintle assembly for both gate leafs, resurfacing the quoin and miter, and crack repairs to structural members. Repairs are critical to ensure safe and reliable gate operations.

The Corps’ 2016-2017 Columbia/Snake River system extended navigation lock maintenance outage began Dec.12, 2016. The 14-week-long closure affects all Corps navigation locks on the Columbia and Snake rivers, during which time critical, non-routine repairs and maintenance, plus routine maintenance and scheduled improvements are being conducted. Bonneville Lock and Dam reopened on February 9, as scheduled. The Dalles, John Day, McNary, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, and Lower Granite locks and dams remain scheduled to return to service on March 20.

For more information about the 2016-2017 Columbia-Snake Rivers Extended Navigation Lock Outage, visit the Corps’ webpage http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/FY17LockOutage.aspx.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 17-024