Updated - April 10, 2017 - The navigation lock at Little Goose Dam, located at Snake River Mile 70.3 near Starbuck, Washington, returned to service at approximately 10 p.m., on Monday, April 10, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in the Walla Walla District.
As previously announced, Little Goose dam's navigation lock could not be returned to service by its original March 20 target because of on-site work complications, which prompted the Corps to award a new contract March 10 to complete the remaining critical repairs on the downstream navigation lock gate.
The Corps of Engineers conducted an extended navigation lock maintenance outage, December 12, 2016, through March 20, 2017. The coordinated 14-week-long closure affected all eight Corps navigation locks on the Columbia-Snake rivers system (CSRS), during which time non-routine repairs and maintenance, plus routine maintenance and scheduled improvements were completed.
Critical major repairs, routine maintenance and improvements conducted at the eight CSRS navigation locks during the extended navigation lock outage have included:
Bonneville Lock and Dam – The navigation lock controls were updated, which included removing existing navigation lock systems and control interfaces, and installing new redundant systems with important safety elements. The navigation lock was dewatered during the extended lock outage. The modernized equipment improves automated functions and makes the controls easier to use for navigation lock operators.
The Dalles Lock and Dam – The upstream gate and critical portions of the navigation lock controls required 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 were replaced during the fiscal year 2017 (FY17) extended lock outage.
John Day Lock and Dam – Portland District had no extensive repairs planned for the John Day navigation lock. Maintenance crews used the time to clean and check equipment, paint, clean staff gauges, change gear box fluids, repair upstream and downstream guidewall preventive maintenance and conduct dam safety inspections. The John Day Dam was not dewatered lower than the chamber floor.
McNary Lock and Dam – Walla Walla District completed 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 – Critical components of the operating machinery for the downstream gate required 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 was the replacement of the mechanical components that operate the gate.
Little Goose Lock and Dam – Following an emergency outage in 2014 to repair a failing gudgeon arm, additional work was required during the FY17 outage to complete replacement of the aging components of the gate. This project involved replacement of the remaining original gudgeon arm and linkage, replacement of the pintle assembly for both gate leafs. Structural repairs included 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 did not have large-contract repairs planned, Corps maintenance personnel conducted annual routine lock maintenance and repairs during the outage, including replacement of the upstream gate wire ropes.
This extended lock outage was a coordinated effort between the Corps’ Portland and Walla Walla districts, and navigation stakeholders. Building on a successful FY11 extended lock outage, the Corps again worked closely with key river system stakeholders to enable them to plan ahead for the FY17 outage. The goal of these coordinated extended outages 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.
The Columbia-Snake federal navigation system is vital to the economic health of the Pacific Northwest. As part of the Corps’ mission, the Walla Walla and Portland districts have been maintaining safe navigation through the system of locks and dams since their installation beginning in the 1930s. Because of the age and reliability of these structures, major work is necessary to maintain their serviceability as essential links along the commercial navigation route from the Pacific Ocean 465 miles inland to Lewiston, Idaho.
The navigation system is the top wheat-export gateway in the nation. It plays a major role in ensuring that our country's farmers and manufacturers have the ability to economically export their goods into the competitive international marketplace. Inland commercial navigation helps generate jobs, facilitates imports and exports, and contributes to a stronger economy, environment and quality of life for the region.