US Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District

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16-002 Corps awards 2 navigation lock repair contracts; work to occur during system-wide 2016-2017 extended lock outage

Published Feb. 1, 2016

LOWER SNAKE RIVER, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently awarded two contracts to a Deer Park, Washington, company to upgrade the hoist machinery for the downstream navigation lock gates at Lower Monumental and Ice Harbor dams on the lower Snake River. 

Both contracts, independently competed, were awarded to Knight Construction & Supply, Inc.  The purpose of the projects is to increase reliability and reduce the risk of lift gate failure.

The first contract -- awarded Jan. 8, valued at about $4.69 million for work at Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, located near Burbank, Washington, involves the upgrade of the navigation lock downstream lift gate hoist machinery and associated electrical and control equipment.

During installation of new hoist wire ropes in 2012, the main drum bull gear and pinion gear were observed to have excessive wear, creating potentially unsafe conditions for vessels using the lock. Maintenance staff continue to inspect the machinery several times a year to monitor its condition until replacement can occur, according to Walla Walla District operations officials.

Ice Harbor’s lock went into service in October 1962, and most of the gate hoist components being replaced are more than 50 years old -- exceeding their estimated service life. The downstream lift gate is 91 feet tall and weighs about 600 tons. The lock chamber is 86 feet wide by 675 feet long with a maximum operating lift of 105 feet.

The second contract -- awarded Jan. 26, valued at about $3.37 million for work at Lower Monumental Lock and Dam, located near Kahlotus, Washington, involves the upgrade of the navigation lock downstream lift gate hoist machinery, associated electrical and control equipment, and miscellaneous structural components.

A new downstream lock gate was installed at Lower Monumental during the 2010-2011 extended lock outage. The new gate is heavier than the original, and the existing hoist machinery is operating in overload condition, according to Walla Walla District operations officials.

Lower Monumental’s lock went into service in April 1969, and most of the gate hoist components being replaced are nearing the end of their service life. The downstream lift gate is 84 feet tall and weighs about 700 tons. The lock chamber is 86 feet wide by 650 feet long with a maximum operating lift of 103 feet.

In May 2015, Corps planners announced the Columbia/Snake rivers inland navigation system will close for major rehab projects Dec. 12, 2016, through March 20, 2017.  The 14-week-long closure will affect all Corps navigation locks on the Columbia and Snake rivers, with critical, major repairs, routine maintenance and improvements scheduled to occur. The lock gate machinery replacements are planned to coincide with other work to occur during the 2016-2017 extended navigation lock outage. About 9 million tons of cargo worth $3 billion transit annually through locks on the Snake-Columbia inland navigation system, including about 40 percent of the nation’s wheat. 

This extended lock outage plan is a coordinated effort between the Corps’ Portland and Walla Walla districts.  Our goal is to prioritize and accomplish urgently needed lock repairs along the Columbia and Snake rivers while minimizing the impact lock closures have on river users,” said Jeannette Wilson, Walla Walla District navigation business line manager.

“These repairs and maintenance are necessary for continued operations and to maintain safe and reliable passage through the navigation system,” she said.

To maximize this maintenance opportunity, additional work items may be added within the schedule, dependent upon available resources, Wilson added.

For more information about the upcoming Columbia-Snake rivers extended navigation lock outage and to sign up for email notification of updates, go online to http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/FY17LockOutage.aspx.

Public Notices and other Walla Walla District navigation lock information are available on the Internet at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation.aspx.

Travelers can call 1-888-DAM-INFO (1-888-326-4636) for the most current dam-crossing information at Lower Granite, Little Goose and Lower Monumental dams on the lower Snake River in the Corps’ Walla Walla District.

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Contact
Public Affairs Office
509-527-7020
cenww-pa@usace.army.mil

Release no. 16-002