Army Corps modernizing Chittenden Locks’ aging equipment

USACE/Seattle District
Published Feb. 22, 2024

The first phase of a multiphase project to replace and improve small lock's mechanical, electrical and controls equipment at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks begins Feb. 26.

Phase 1 includes concrete demolition and cutting for new operating equipment and electrical runways and should be complete Sept. 6, 2024.

The $16 million project, of which $10.5 million comes from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding that was signed into law in November 2021, entails installing a new miter gate and filling valve actuation system to maintain the busiest lock in the nation’s infrastructure.  

“We’re also planning to upgrade and replace the current controls systems to a modern controls operating system,” said Locks Operations Project Manager Jonathan Hofstra.

The remaining $5.5 million came from appropriated funds.

The small lock machinery system operates the miter gates and valves that control filling and emptying the Lake Washington Ship Canal’s small lock chamber. The new machinery will use a compact hydraulic miter gate and valve operating machinery.

Current 91-year-old machinery and controls are deteriorated and need replacing before failure leads to an extended small lock closure. The upgrades will remove the failure risk of gates that would severely impact the Corps’ navigation mission.

Phase 1 work will not involve any lock closures or affect normal navigational operations.  

For more information on USACE projects in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law work plan, click here

For current information about activities at the Locks, check our public website and follow us on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter).


Nicole L. Celestine

Release no. 24-001