U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials announce the Hiram M. Chittenden large and small locks will close to all marine traffic Oct. 31, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., to inspect the large locks and open a saltwater drain screen structure.
The eight-hour closure will also facilitate district officials conducting large lock sill and pump discharge inspections, in preparation for the large lock dewatering outage.
The structure immediately upstream of the Locks prevents salmon from entering the locks’ saltwater return intake. Divers will open 10, 10-foot-by-6-foot doors and inspect the 30-by-60 foot curved-front, mesh screen structure. USACE officials open the doors and inspect the structure annually after salmon migration season ends mid-September.
This inspection requires both the locks to be closed for a few hours during this inspection time to all but emergency vessels on emergency calls. The staff will complete work as quickly and safely as possible.
The saltwater drain delivers water to a diffuser well beneath the fish ladder to provide flow for fish passage. It was thought fish could occasionally access the diffuser well through the saltwater drain intake, which does not have an exit.
“We closed off some potential well access points and in 2008 installed the screen,” said locks’ Fisheries Biologist Kaitlin Whitlock. “We continue to research ways to ensure salmon can pass upstream to spawning grounds.”
For more information about Chittenden Locks activities visit http://bit.ly/BallardLocks or follow on Facebook www.facebook.com/ChittendenLocks, or Twitter www.twitter.com/ChittendenLocks.
Release no. 22-013