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Posted 6/21/2012

Release no. 12-013


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206-764-3750

SEATTLE – Maintenance workers finished structural repairs today allowing the small lock at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to reopen for vessel traffic following an accident June 10.

The walkway will remain closed to pedestrian traffic for about two more weeks while workers manufacture the remaining walkway components. The walkway, which also protects the gates, was damaged when a 60-foot vessel reportedly malfunctioned and could not disengage its engines, hitting the lock gates. Pedestrians can use the east gate walkway.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers structural engineer Mike Likavec and Lake Washington Ship Canal maintenance staff inspected and tested the gates and anchorage June 11 and they were functioning as designed. The lock may experience short, intermittent closures in the coming weeks as working perform additional repairs or inspections.

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

No one was injured, but quick-acting lockwall staff were able to clear visitors prior to the vessel hitting the gates. Final costs are not yet available, but following an inspection June 11 Corps officials estimated the damage at $10,000 to $20,000.