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Posted 3/10/2012

Release no. 12-002


Contact
Public Affairs Office
206-764-3750

SEATTLE – The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks small chamber will close to marine traffic beginning 1 p.m. Mar. 12 through 7 p.m. Mar. 23.

Crews will conduct annual maintenance and safety inspections during the closure. The large lock will continue operating 24/7. Lock wall staff will get commercial traffic through as quickly as possible.
All pleasure boats will use the large lock and boaters should be prepared with appropriate equipment and crew. Large lock requirements include long lines and fenders on board. Current locking through information is available at http://bit.ly/LargeLockThru. Mariners may experience delays, depending on passage demand.

Most machinery and equipment, including the gates and valves, are original to the 95-year-old facility. The annual closure gives dam safety experts and maintenance staff the chance to dry out the chambers for thorough inspections, to make necessary repairs and paint the walls. The routine maintenance is important to project safety and continued operation as the locks approach their 100 year anniversary.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates the Chittenden Locks, and safely transits more than 60,000 vessels each year in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

For updates and more information, follow the Chittenden Locks on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/chittendenlocks and www.twitter.com/chittendenlocks.