BURBANK, Wash. – The 50th anniversary of completion of construction of Ice Harbor Lock and Dam will be celebrated at the dam’s south shore on Saturday, June 16. The public is invited. Ice Harbor was dedicated on May 9, 1962, by then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson after several years of construction by the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors.
The celebration begins at 10 a.m. at the dam’s south shore with a ceremony featuring speakers and patriotic music by the 204th Army Band from Vancouver, Wash. After the ceremony, an open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are urged to arrive early for the ceremony to board shuttle buses to the site. Parking and access are from state route 124 on the south shore of the Snake River, which is on the Burbank, Wash., side of the river.
The keynote speaker is Col. Robert A. Tipton, who takes command of the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on June 15. The Division includes the Walla Walla District plus four other districts headquartered in Portland, Seattle, Omaha and Kansas City. Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. David A. Caldwell is also featured at the event.
The day’s festivities mark U.S. Army Corps of Engineers efforts to build the first Corps dam on the Snake River, which initiated commercial traffic in the lower 40 miles of the Snake River while also allowing for fish passage and migration. When the Corps subsequently constructed three more dams on the Snake by 1984, Columbia-Snake Rivers commercial traffic could reach the new inland seaport of Lewiston, Idaho.
The nation’s initial investment in Ice Harbor Lock and Dam was significant. Construction costs for the dam, navigation lock, two fish ladders, powerhouse and six hydropower generating units totaled about $217 million.
Release no. 12-55