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Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day locks open early

PORTLAND – Navigation locks at Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day will re-opened the evening of March 15, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced.

The Corps closes its navigation locks on the Columbia and Snake rivers each March to conduct annual inspections, repairs and maintenance.

“The Corps carefully plans the work each year so we can accomplish needed tasks in the time allotted,” said Jim Mahar, Portland District chief of operations. “Sometimes we find we are able to complete the task sooner than we expect, which means we can resume operations earlier than planned.”

The Corps coordinates annual closures with inland shippers and cruise lines to lessen impact to the industries that use the locks. Navigation locks on the Snake River remained closed until the scheduled work period ended after press time at around 11:59 p.m. March 16.

The Corps’ Portland and Walla Walla districts maintain the commercial navigation route from the Pacific Ocean inland 465 miles to Lewiston, Idaho.

The Columbia-Snake navigation system is a key contributor to the economy of the Pacific Northwest.

The system accommodated an average of 17.5 million short tons of cargo annually from 1999 to 2008, according to the Corps’ Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center.

Public Notices and other navigation lock information online: www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation.aspx.

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