Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to join the Army to work for the Army Corps of Engineers?
A: No. While the Corps is part of the Army, 98 percent of Corps employees are civilians. The leader of the Seattle District is an active duty colonel in the Army. He is supported by civilians at the senior management level. This combination of civilian and military management creates a strong and vibrant leadership within the district. The district’s military leadership creates a unique atmosphere and is an important plus in serving the nation and civil works and military customers.

Q: What are the hours of entry for the Ballard Locks?
A: The official hours for the Chittenden Locks in Ballard’s grounds are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Locks' staff now opens the gates at 6:30 a.m.

Q: How do I get to the Ballard Locks, Carl S. English Botanical Garden via public transportation?
A: Thank you for your inquiry. Bus #17 from downtown Seattle drops passengers off right in front of the entrance to the Chittenden Locks. Bus #15 and 18 also provide transportation to Ballard; however, you would have to walk several blocks to the Locks. For more information, King County Metro Transit offers a trip planner here.  

Q: How do I find the regulatory permit information?
A: If you are looking for permitting information, it can be found here. A direct link to the contact information for staff who handle permit questions in each county is on line at: If this isn't what you are seeking, please contact the Regulatory Branch directly at 206-764-3495, and they will be able to assist you.

Q: How do I sign-up/register for the Construction Quality Management (CQM) class / Associated General Contractor (AGC) class?
A: The Construction Quality Management Course (CQM) is sponsored by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington. Classes are held in Tacoma every other month. It is a one day class taught by Corps personnel. You can contact AGC to sign-up for the class. The phone number is (206) 284-4500.

Q: How do I locate aerial photos?
A: For aerial photos inquiries, contact Maps and Records at 206-764-6716

Q: How do I submit a "FOIA" [Freedom of Information Act] request?
A: FOIA requests are done through our Office of Counsel. Please contact them at: 206-764-3735 or via Email at:

Q: When is the free Locking Through programs provided?
A: Free locking through classes are held at the Locks in the visitor center theater on the second Wednesday of the month January through March at 7 p.m. and on the second and fourth Wednesdays during the months of April through September at 7 p.m. Join us to learn how to successfully transit our locks. Conquer your fears and make locking through an enjoyable experience.