15-009 Lower Granite Dam closed to vehicle crossings

Published Feb. 6, 2015
POMEROY, Wash. – Public vehicle access across Lower Granite Dam is closed until further notice, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials at the Walla Walla District announced today.

One of the bridge pier foundations for the Almota-Ferry Road leading to the south-shore vehicle entrance across the dam was compromised yesterday during construction activities of the Juvenile Fish Facility’s primary dewatering structure.

Corps geotechnical and structural engineers performed preliminary evaluations yesterday of the sub-surface conditions and load-carrying capacity of the bridge piers. In consideration of increased winds and volume of rain expected during the next several days, the Corps determined there was an unacceptable level of uncertainty at this time regarding safety. Therefore, the Corps restricted use of the bridge to minimize unnecessary risk to the public.

Engineering experts will further analyze the situation to more precisely determine the bridge’s current load-carrying capacity and develop a solution to stability concerns.

Corps staff and those conducting official business can access the dam via the north-shore approach on State Highway 194. The Visitor Center and south-shore recreation areas west of the dam on Almota-Ferry Road remain accessible only from the south riverbank.

There is no access to the Offield Landing boat launch on the upstream side of the dam’s south shoreline during the south-approach bridge closure. Fortunately, there are several nearby locations which offer public boat launches: Illia Landing, Wawawai Landing, Blyton Landing, Willow Landing and the Port of Garfield.

* Illia Landing offers day-use, boat ramp, dock and primitive camping. It is located 3 miles west of Lower Granite Dam on Almota Ferry Road, at Snake River Mile 103, on the south riverbank.

*Wawawai Landing offers day-use, boating and semi-primitive camping. Getting there: travel 28 miles west of Lewiston, Idaho, on the north shore of Snake River Road, or 19 miles southwest of Pullman, Washington, on Wawawai Road; located at Snake River Mile 111, on the north riverbank.

*Blyton Landing – Open year round. Facilities: day-use, boat ramp, semi-primitive camping. Getting there: travel 20 miles west of Lewiston, Idaho, on North Shore Snake River Road; located at Snake River Mile 119 on the north riverbank.

*Willow Landing offers day use, boat ramp, semi-primitive camping. Getting there: travel 1 mile south of the Central Ferry bridge on Highway 127, 4 miles east on Deadman Road, then 5 miles north on Hasting Hill Road; located at Snake River Mile 88, on the south riverbank.

*Port of Garfield Ramp offers day use, boat ramp and dock. It is located 10.5 miles north of Dodge, Washington, on Highway 127, at Snake River Mile 83, on the south riverbank.

For more information about other Corps recreation areas in the nearby area, please contact the Lower Granite Natural Resources Management Office, 509-751-0240, or the Lower Granite Visitor Center, 509-843-1493, ext. 262.


Public Affairs Office

Release no. 15-009