Photo by Jesse Burkhardt
Contractors lower a new upstream gate into place at The Dalles Lock and Dam, located on the Washington side of the Columbia River. The gate weighs 110.5 tons. The locks take 20 minutes to fill or empty and are 85 feet wide, 675 feet long, and 88 feet deep.
As of Wednesday, February 1, 2017
On Tuesday morning, contractors used heavy-duty cranes to lower a new upstream gate at The Dalles Lock & Dam. The gate, which weighs 110.5 tons, is a vital piece of machinery for operation of the navigation locks, and represents the most important component of the annual maintenance upgrades and repairs at the dam this winter.
The Dalles Dam, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was among the navigation locks on the Columbia River and the Snake River system that closed for a 14-week period that began Dec. 12.
The closure allows crews to tackle a variety of critical infrastructure projects, as well as routine maintenance.
Weather issues have slowed work at The Dalles Dam, but Karim Delgado, public affairs specialist for the Corps of Engineers, said the project remains on schedule.
“We’re still on track to complete the project in the outage window, but it has gotten precarious,” Delgado said.
Barring a major setback, work at the dam is scheduled to be completed and the locks reopened to river traffic on March 20.
Critical repairs, routine maintenance and improvements are being made throughout the system.
The Corps’ Portland District, has jurisdiction over dams in The Dalles, Bonneville and John Day, include:
At Bonneville, the navigation lock controls will be updated, which includes removing existing navigation lock systems and control interfaces. Workers will also install new and redundant systems with important safety elements.
The navigation lock will be fully dewatered during the extended lock outage.
The new equipment will improve automated functions and make the controls easier to use.
The John Day Lock and Dam has no extensive repairs planned. Maintenance crews will use the time to clean and check equipment, paint, clean gauges, change gear box fluids, repair upstream and downstream guidewalls, do preventive maintenance and conduct dam safety inspections.
The John Day Dam will not be dewatered lower than the chamber floor during the closure.
The three locks pass up to 10 million tons of commercial shipping annually.