PORTLAND, ORE. – The navigation locks at Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day will re-open at 5 p.m. today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced. The Corps closes its navigation locks on the Columbia and Snake rivers each March to conduct annual inspections, repairs and maintenance.
"The Corps carefully plans the work each year so we can accomplish needed tasks in the time allotted," said Jim Mahar, Portland District chief of operations. "Sometimes we find we are able to complete the task sooner than we expect, which means we can resume operations earlier than planned."
The Corps coordinates these annual closures with inland shippers and cruise lines to achieve minimal impact to the various industries that use the locks. "We notified our stakeholders of the earlier start up time and many of them are able to gear up for an earlier departure."
Navigation locks on the Snake River will remain closed until the scheduled work period ends at 11:59 p.m. March 16.
The Corps’ Portland and Walla Walla districts maintain the commercial navigation route from the Pacific Ocean inland 465 miles to Lewiston, Idaho. The Columbia-Snake navigation system is vital to the economic health of the Pacific Northwest. The system accommodated an average of 17.5 million short tons of cargo annually from 1999 to 2008, according to the Corps’ Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center.
Public Notices and other navigation lock information are available on Walla Walla District's website at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation.aspx and on the Portland District website at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil.
Release no. 13-011