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.
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
“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.