Chittenden Locks in Ballard small chamber closing extended

Published April 18, 2014

SEATTLE – The small chamber locks at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard will remain closed to marine traffic until 5 p.m. April 21, due to additional maintenance and repair requirements.

The small chamber has been closed since April 4 for crews to do annual maintenance and safety inspections.  Opening was scheduled for April 18, at 7 p.m.  However, additional work and adjustments make it necessary to delay refill and opening.  

Foot traffic is not affected and the large lock will continue around-the-clock operations for vessels. Lock wall staff will move commercial traffic through as quickly as possible.

All pleasure craft will use the large lock, and boaters should be prepared with appropriate equipment and crew. Large lock requirements include long lines and fenders on board. Current locking through information is available at Mariners may experience delays, depending on passage demand.

Most machinery and equipment, including the gates and valves, are original to the 97-year-old facility. The annual closure gives dam safety experts and maintenance staff an opportunity to dry out the chambers for thorough inspections and to make necessary repairs. This routine maintenance is necessary and important in keeping the Chittenden Locks safe and operational as the locks approach their 100-year anniversary.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates the Chittenden Locks. The busiest in the nation, nearly 50,000 vessels lock through each year.

For current information about activities at the Locks, visit the Locks’ Web site at or follow the Locks on Facebook and Twitter: and


Steve Cosgrove

Release no. 04-019