Little Goose Navigation Lock
by Matthew Weaver
Repairs at the Little Goose Dam navigation lock, originally delayed from March 20 to March 27,
have now been pushed back another week.
Reopening of the navigation lock at Little Goose Dam has been pushed back for an additional week. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers evaluated remaining lock work under contract at the Snake River dam, located near Starbuck, Wash. The corps is making critical repairs, routine maintenance and other improvements during an extended lock closure on the Snake and Columbia river system, originally slated to last 14 weeks, from Dec. 12 through March 20.
All other locks in the system remain on track to reopen March 20 as previously scheduled, according to the corps.
The corps decided the best course of action to reduce risk and bring the lock back to operational capability was to award a new contract for the completion of the remaining work, according to the corps website.
The corps awarded the new contract March 10 to Knight Construction & Supply Inc., of Deer Park, Wash. The new contractor reassessed the navigation lock’s maintenance and repair status and estimated the remaining work required to return the lock to service will delay reopening the lock until 11:59 p.m. April 2.
The corps previously announced reopening of the Little Goose lock, originally slated for March 20, would be delayed by at least a week due to weather, on-site efficiency and unforeseen crack repair requirements on the south navigation lock gate.
“As long they get it right,” said Randy Olstad, general manager of Columbia Grain in Clarkston, Wash.
Olstad had hoped to be shipping grain by March 27, but he said a delay of an additional week won’t hinder business too much.
“A week – no one likes it, but we’ll deal with it,” he said.
Any longer than that, Olstad said, and his company would have to make some adjustments. It would also affect expectations for wheat hitting the market, he said.
Olstad praised the corps for keeping industry members informed of the process.
“They have a big job ahead of them, they saw some unforeseen things coming,” he said. “I wish they would have seen it earlier, but you can’t cry over spilled milk. We just need to get it done, get it done right and get on with our business.”
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