14-023 UPDATE: Corps awards emergency contract to fix Little Goose lock gate

Published April 9, 2014

EDITORS’ NOTE: This information is an update to News Release #14-019 distributed on March 25.

STARBUCK, Wash. – UPDATE -- Work to replace the cracked gudgeon assembly on the top of Little Goose Dam’s navigation lock gate remains on schedule. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District officials announced today.

The Corps awarded an emergency contract on April 1 to Knight Construction of Deer Park, Wash., to install a new gudgeon assembly -- the metal arm at the top of the south gate leaf that hinges and holds the gate leaf to the lock wall -- which passed factory fitting tests April 3 and arrived at the dam via expedited delivery on April 5.

For safety, Little Goose Lock and Dam’s navigation lock will remain closed to all river traffic until repairs are completed. Corps officials at the Walla Walla District anticipate it will take several weeks to complete the installation work and estimate reopening for service by May 1.  

“We are doing everything we can to minimize this emergency outage period -- all work has been expedited,” said Steve Hartman, Corps project manager. “To reduce the time needed for staging and set-up, Corps staff at Little Goose prepared the lock for immediate access by contractors. The Corps is committed to meeting our obligations under the BiOp, and to providing safe commercial and recreational navigation services at our locks -- the delay in reopening is necessary to provide safe locking.”

With the Little Goose lock out of service, the 2014 Federal Columbia River Power System Supplemental Biological Opinion (BiOp) fish transportation scheduled to begin sometime in late April may be delayed. Coordination of fish transportation operations and related research will be addressed through BiOp adaptive management processes.

 Little Goose Dam’s navigation lock has a downstream miter gate resembling a giant set of French doors. One gate leaf is about 118 feet tall, 43 feet wide and weighs 334 tons -- from 1986 through 2013, the gate performed 35,713 lockages. A gate gudgeon assembly is a key component of this style of gate, holding the gate into position at the top while the gate pivots to open and close (a hinge-like assembly). The steel gudgeon assembly is an original component of the lock and has not been removed since installation in the late-1960s.

The Corps has notified commercial navigators, fish managers and other stakeholders, and will continue to provide updates as they become available. Public Notices and other navigation lock information are available on the Walla Walla District website at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation.aspx.


Public Affairs Office

Release no. 14-023