Lock Repair: John Day Dam Back in Business
The Oregonian, October 29, 2008
Cranes on Tuesday morning slowly lift a repaired, ultraheavy gate into position at John Day Dam's navigation lock, eight months after a barge hit and damaged the gate, halting traffic on the Columbia River for three days.
A metal plate, called a floating bulkhead, was installed in early March to serve as a temporary gate. The Army Corps of Engineers said it hoped to complete the installation today.
The Coast Guard is investigating the Feb. 29 incident, which involved a barge owned by Tidewater Barge Lines of Vancouver. The tug was pushing two empty grain barges and a barge filled with 1.7 million gallons of diesel fuel when it ran into the upstream gate while the lock chamber was filling. No injuries or fuel leakage were reported by the Corps of Engineers, which operates the dam.
More than 10 million tons a year of hay, grass seed, fuel and other commodities move through the eight-lock system along the Snake and Columbia rivers, with the 40-year-old John Day Dam at a strategic juncture 25 miles upriver from The Dalles.
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