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Economic and dam related articles

Dam Locks are Now Closed

by Staff
East Oregonian, December 11, 2010

(Army Corps of Engineers) Crews from Advanced American Construction of Portland load the final quarter section of the new John Day navigation lock downstream gate onto a barge in Vancouver, Wash., on Nov. 23. The gate section is about 30 feet tall and 98 feet wide and weighs about half a million pounds. PORTLAND -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed three navigation locks on the Columbia and lower Snake rivers Friday at 6 a.m. for three months of gate-replacement projects.

The last commercial lockage at Lower Monumental Dam on Friday cleared the lock about 12:20 a.m., said Gina Baltrusch of the Corps' Walla Walla District.

The locks at John Day Dam and The Dalles Dam also closed as scheduled at 6 a.m. Friday, said Scott Clemans of the Corps' Portland District.

McNary Dam and other Corps navigation locks on the Columbia and lower Snake rivers will undergo longer-than-usual maintenance and repair outages between now and mid-March.

In the weeks leading up to Friday's closure, work continued at all three dams in preparation for the lock repairs, including the assembly of a couple of the largest cranes available in the United States. Each of the cranes required more than 50 truckloads of equipment, three other cranes and about four weeks to assemble.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Energy has advised that possible mild gasoline and diesel supply disruptions are anticipated in Eastern Oregon communities as a result of the extended outage, particularly in late winter. Eastern Oregon communities experiencing fuel shortages during the extended lock closures are encouraged to contact the Oregon Department of Energy.

Agency workers will prepare situation reports to provide fuel outlook updates as needed.

The reports are posted on the Oregon Department of Energy's website at under "What's New." Look for "Columbia-Snake Navigation Lock Outage."

Deanna Henry of the Energy Department also said Eastern Oregon communities can anticipate higher fuel prices as a result of the extended outage. Lower Monumental Dam's lock at Snake River Mile 41.6 will return to service Sunday, March 13, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. The navigation locks at The Dalles at Columbia River Mile 192 and John Day Dam, Mile 215, will return to service Friday, March 18, 2011, at 11:59 p.m.

Related Pages:
Temporary Loss of Locks Demonstrates River's Value by Editorial Board, Tri-City Herald, 11/13/10

Dam Locks are Now Closed
East Oregonian, December 11, 2010

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