PORTLAND, ORE. – Bonneville Lock and Dam’s Navigation Lock Visitor Center will close July 28 due to construction at the navigation lock, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced. It is not expected to re-open during the 2014 recreation season.
All other visitor areas, including fishing areas, hiking trails and the visitor centers on the Washington Shore and at Bradford Island will remain open. Visitor centers open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; fishing and hiking areas are open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The navigation lock will remain in operation.
Construction is expected to take about six weeks to complete, which means equipment will remain in place until the Navigation Lock Visitor Center closes for the season after Labor Day.
“Visiting Bonneville’s navigation lock is a highlight for our guests and we realize this could disappoint some of them,” said Jerry Carroll, operations manager for Bonneville Lock and Dam. “Our other visitor areas will remain open during the construction period, so Oregon and Washington visitor areas will continue to welcome our guests.”
The construction start date may change by a few days until the contractor finalizes its work plan, so visitors are encouraged to contact the Bradford Island Visitor Center at (541) 374-8820 to learn if the work started as scheduled on July 28.
Other visitor facilities are available on the Oregon side of the river off Interstate 84 at exit 40. The Bradford Island Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors also can stop by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Fish Hatchery and catch a glimpse of Herman, the 10-foot long sturgeon.
To reach the Washington Shore Visitor Center, travel on Washington State Route 14 to milepost 39, then turn onto Dam Access Road about one mile west of the dam, or three miles west of the Bridge of the Gods. Follow the signs to the visitor center.
The Corps will conduct a major overhaul of the downstream tainter valve’s trunnion pins and bushings. The pins and bushings are integral to operating the tainter valves, which fill and empty the navigation lock chamber. During the overhaul, construction equipment will be staged in the Navigation Lock Visitor Center parking area, making it unsafe for visitors.
For more information about Bonneville Lock and Dam, call 541-374-8820 or visit http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/ColumbiaRiver.aspx.