by Bob Hoff
Farm and Ranch, December 9, 2010
At six a.m. tomorrow, Friday morning, the unprecedented extended lock outage on the Columbia-Snake River navigation system begins. Gina Baltrusch, spokesperson for the Walla Walla District Army Corps of Engineers, says there could be lines at the locks as shippers make use of every last minute.
Baltrusch "The commercial navigation industry indicates to us that they are going to be going downstream, or upstream which ever way they need to go, up until the time we shut them down."
The river transportation shutdown that is scheduled to run from December 10th to March 18th will allow the Corps to replace aging downstream lock gates at Lower Monumental, John Day and The Dalles dams as well as conduct other repairs and maintenance at facilities in the navigation system, which is the number one U.S. wheat export gateway.
Baltrusch says the new lock gates for Lower Monumental were unloaded December 4th.
Baltrusch: "We will begin de-watering the navigation lock December 10th as soon as we close and get the bulkheads in place. That will take about three days. Then we have some towers and work platforms to build around the existing gate. Probably about the 3rd, 4th weeks of December, then we will begin removing the old gate and start work on installing the new one."
The new gate has also been delivered to John Day dam. The Dalles gate is scheduled for delivery in February.
I'm Bob Hoff and that's the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on Northwest Aginfo Net.
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