Ice Harbor navigation lock returns to service for commercial vessels; slated to reopen for recreational vessels Friday

Published Nov. 14, 2012

BURBANK, Wash. – Ice Harbor Dam’s navigation lock reopened for commercial vessels today after contractors completed work to remove and dispose of an accumulation of rocks and earthen materials from the downstream approach that posed a potential hazard to vessels, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations officials at the Walla Walla District.

Approximately 430 cubic yards of rocks and earthen material were removed from the lock approach. Post-work underwater surveys will be conducted tomorrow, Nov. 15. Commercial shippers have been advised to contact dam operations officials prior to their arrival to allow the survey crew time to vacate the lock approach area. The lock is slated to reopen to recreational vessels on Friday morning, Nov. 16.

Recreational boaters can still access the river both downstream and upstream of Ice Harbor from nearby boat launches. The nearest fee-free launches available on the south shoreline of the river are located at Hood Park (downstream at Snake River Mile 2.5) and Charbonneau Park (upstream at Snake River Mile 11). The nearest free boat launching on the north side of the river is available at the North Shore Boat Ramp (upstream side of the dam at Snake River Mile 9.7). Explore more boating and recreation opportunities online at

The Corps coordinates navigation maintenance with inland shippers and cruise lines to achieve minimal impact to the various industries that use the locks. Public Notices and other navigation lock information are available on the Walla Walla District website at

The Corps’ Walla Walla and Portland districts maintain about 350 miles of the federal navigation channel from Portland, Ore., to Lewiston, Idaho.  The Columbia-Snake navigation system of eight dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers is vital to the economic health of the Pacific Northwest.  The system accommodates the transportation of about 10 million tons of cargo annually. Ten million tons equals about 2,700 barges, 100,000 railcars or 350,000 semi-trucks.



Public Affairs Office

Release no. 12-100