Chittenden Locks in Ballard schedules October-November closings
From U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard will close to much or all marine traffic at various times Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 5-20.
Vessel operators should pay close attention to times, vessel-size restrictions and impacts caused by railroad bridge maintenance.
On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, U.S. Navy divers are scheduled to prepare the Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure for normal winter operations. Both locks are scheduled to be closed on Oct. 31 a maximum of four hours from 8 a.m. to noon. The large lock only is scheduled to be closed from approximately 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 1.
The large lock at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard is scheduled to close to all marine traffic from 9 a.m., Nov. 5, to 5 p.m., Nov. 20, for annual maintenance. The small lock will still be available for vessels less than 115 feet in length and 26 feet in width throughout the large lock maintenance period.
Please note, however, that in conjunction with the Lock closure, BNSF Railway will make structural upgrades to the Ballard railroad bridge which crosses Lake Washington Ship Canal west of the Locks. High mast vessels able to use the small lock will not be able to pass the bridge during the four BNSF Railway closures from 9 a.m. to midnight, Nov. 5, 7, 12 and 14.
The scheduled repairs to the large lock are part of an annual general maintenance program.
The Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure, immediately upstream of the locks, prevents salmon from entering the locks' saltwater return intake in late spring. Navy divers from Naval Base Kitsap close 10, 10-foot-by-6-foot doors and inspect the 30-by-60 foot curved-front, mesh screen structure. The Navy regularly supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with this procedure before salmon migration season begins mid-June. Now in autumn, divers will open the Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure until next spring.
Prior to installation of the large screen structure in 2008, adult salmon sometimes entered a diffuser well beneath the fish ladder. The well does not have an exit and entering it led to salmon migration delay, injury or death. The Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure in front of the saltwater drain improves viability of salmon using the fish ladder returning upstream to spawning grounds.
The inspections require Lock closure to all but emergency vessels on emergency calls. The staff will complete work as quickly and safely as possible. Monthly inspection closures will be posted at least a week prior on the Seattle District's public web site at http://bit.ly/BoaterInfo and on the Locks on Facebook and Twitter sites at www.facebook.com/chittendenlocks and http://twitter.com/ChittendenLocks.
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