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Posted 6/11/2012

Release no. 12-007


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Small lock at Chittenden Locks closed two weeks for repairs
SEATTLE – Repairs to the small lock at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard will take about two weeks after a boat hit the lock gate Sunday.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers structural engineer Mike Likavec and Lake Washington Ship Canal maintenance staff inspected the gates and anchorage today. The gates were tested and are functioning as designed.

“Safety is our primary concern, and in the coming months we will re-inspect the gates on a routine basis to identify any signs of distress from the incident,” Likavec said.

The small lock will remain closed to all but police and fire vessels on emergency response until structural members of the walkway, which help protect the gate, can be fabricated and installed. Pedestrians can use the east gate walkway but won’t be allowed to cross using the west gates until the railing is replaced in about a month.

According to reports, the small lock was damaged when a vessel malfunctioned and could not disengage its engines, hiting the lock gates. Quick-acting lockwall staff were able to clear visitors prior to impact. The Harbor Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard were notified of the incident.

Corps workers have begun repair work, which officials estimate will cost $10,000 to $20,000.