STARBUCK, Wash. – A new contractor reassessed Little Goose Dam’s navigation lock maintenance and repair status and estimated remaining work required to return the lock to service will delay reopening the lock until 11:59 p.m. on April 2, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in the Walla Walla District announced, today.
The Corps of Engineers is nearing the scheduled end of an extended navigation lock maintenance outage, which began December 12, 2016. The coordinated 14-week-long closure has affected all eight 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 completed.
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 at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 20.
As previously announced in a March 9 Corps news release, Little Goose’s gate cannot be returned to service by March 20 because of delays due to weather, onsite efficiency, and unforeseen crack repair requirements on the south navigation lock gate. Little Goose Lock and Dam is located on the Snake River, near Starbuck, Washington.
Since then, the Corps evaluated the remaining lock work under contract at Little Goose and determined the best course of action to reduce risk and bring the lock back to operational capability as soon as possible was to award a new contract for the completion of the remaining work.
A contract was awarded March 10 to Knight Construction & Supply, Inc., of Deer Park, Washington.
Knight Construction has mobilized to the site and started repairing one weld on the north gate, bolting in place structural supports for the crack found in a girder, and welding the skin plate in place on the south gate. Following the welding repairs this week, the remaining work at Little Goose will include finalizing the pintle heel assembly to the gate, sliding the gates back in place, connection of the gudgeon linkage and operating cylinders, adjustment of the quoin and miter block, and then begin the commissioning process to check alignment, diagonal tensioning, and operation of the gate, according to Jason Williams, project manager for the lock work at Little Goose.
“A number of critical items remain in order to return the gates back into operation, but Knight Construction is working aggressively around the clock, seven days a week to return the gate to service,” said Williams during a teleconference update with navigation stakeholders this afternoon. “We understand the vital importance of the Columbia and Snake Rivers to the economy of the Pacific Northwest, and realize that commercial lock users need as early a decision as possible on changes to the outage schedule in order to adjust their own plans.”
The Corps will continue to communicate and coordinate with the Columbia Snake River System users and stakeholders on the extended lock outage and the impacts of this additional time requirement at Little Goose’s lock.
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