BOARDMAN, Ore. – A 14-week-long navigation lock outage scheduled for Dec. 12, 2016, through March 20, 2017, is on track, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials from Walla Walla and Portland districts said today.
Corps staff apprised commercial shippers and other stakeholders of their progress during a regional navigation meeting held today at the Port of Morrow SAGE Center in Boardman, Oregon. Planning milestones and contract awards have occurred on schedule since the extended outage was officially announced about a year ago.
The extended outage will affect all navigation locks operated by the Corps on the Columbia and Snake rivers. This coordinated effort between Portland and Walla Walla districts, will prioritize needed lock repairs to minimize impacts to river users.
Although the closure will not occur until December 2016, Corps officials provided early notice -- in May 2015 -- giving commercial navigation businesses and their customers maximum time to effectively prepare for the outage.
Drawing from their communications experiences during the successful 2010-2011 extended navigation lock outage, and keeping an open ear to the inland navigation industry, the Corps invited commercial navigation industry representatives to participate in regular communications about this upcoming outage and its associated major work projects.
“The planned repairs are necessary for continued operations and to maintain safe and reliable passage through the Columbia-Snake River navigation system. Aging infrastructure sometimes requires extensive non-routine repairs and rehabilitation that cannot be completed within the traditional two week-long annual routine maintenance outages,” said Walla Walla District’s Chief of Operations Division Rick Werner. “Extended lock closures are very unusual and carefully coordinated between the districts to prioritize needed lock repairs and minimize the duration of closures. This work will improve the long-term functionality and safety of these locks and improve the reliability of the Columbia-Snake River navigation system as a whole.”
Critical repairs and improvements currently planned to occur during the extended navigation lock outage include:
Bonneville Lock and Dam – The navigation lock controls will be updated, to include removing existing navigation lock systems and control interfaces, and installing new redundant systems with important safety elements.
The Dalles Lock and Dam – The upstream gate and critical portions of the navigation lock controls require replacement. The downstream gate was replaced during the fiscal year 2011 (FY11) extended lock outage. The gudgeon anchors, however, were not included during the FY11 closure and will be replaced during the fiscal year 2017 (FY17) extended lock outage.
John Day Lock and Dam– Portland District has no extensive repairs planned for the John Day navigation lock. Maintenance crews will use the time to clean and check equipment, paint, clean staff gauges, change gear box fluids, repair upstream and downstream guidewalls, and conduct preventive-maintenance actions and dam-safety inspections.
McNary Lock and Dam – Walla Walla District plans to complete downstream miter gate repairs that were delayed in order to return the lock to service on schedule during the 2015 annual maintenance outage.
Ice Harbor Lock and Dam – New operating machinery for the downstream gate at Ice Harbor is a very high priority for the Walla Walla District. Critical components of the machinery and control systems require complete replacement during the extended closure.
Lower Monumental Lock and Dam – A new downstream lock gate was installed at Lower Monumental during the FY11 extended maintenance closure. The second phase of this installation is the replacement of the mechanical gear that operates the gate -- the existing equipment has reached the end of its service life.
Little Goose Lock and Dam – Following an emergency outage in 2014 to repair a failing gudgeon arm, additional work is required during the FY17 outage to complete replacement of the aging components of the gate. This project will involve replacement of the remaining original gudgeon arm and linkage, replacement of the pintle assembly for both gate leafs. Structural repairs will include resurfacing the quoin and miter and crack repairs to structural members. Repairs are critical to ensure reliable gate operation.
Lower Granite Lock and Dam – Although Lower Granite does not have large-contract repairs planned, Corps maintenance personnel will conduct annual routine lock maintenance and repairs during the scheduled outage. Non-routine work includes replacing the upstream gate wire ropes.
To maximize this maintenance opportunity at all of our locks, additional work items may be added within the schedule, dependent upon available resources. Check out the Corps’ webpage -- http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/FY17LockOutage.aspx -- for progress updates, news releases and other information about the FY17 extended lock outage.
Release no. 16-033