Summer pedestrian walkway closures at Chittenden Locks in Ballard to begin

Published June 13, 2014

The first of several pedestrian walkway closures along the spillway dam this summer at Chittenden Locks in Ballard is scheduled 9 a.m. Monday, June 16.  Closure could last up to several hours.  Commuters must cross before that time.  Visitors to the fish ladder only should park near Commodore Park in Magnolia.  All other visitors park on the Ballard side.

Intermittent temporary pedestrian walkway closures will continue through the end of August 2014 for removal and replacement of the six tainter spillway gates at the Chittenden Locks.  Navigation through the Chittenden Locks is not affected and will continue as usual.

Closure times will be:

Videos of removal of the first gate are here: and

The tainter spillway gates maintain the water elevation for Lake Washington.  The gates were originally placed in service at the Locks in 1916.  In 1944, the gates were refurbished due to corrosion.  The last maintenance was done in 1988, when the gates were painted.  Because of the age of the materials, corrosion due to the environment in which they operate, and an obsolete design which leaves them weaker and less resilient than modern gates, the Corps is replacing them with new gates.   

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates the Chittenden Locks, the busiest locks in the nation, with 50,000 vessels locking through each year.  For current information about activities at the Locks, including walkway closures visit the Locks’ website at or follow the Locks on Facebook and Twitter: and

Steve Cosgrove

Release no. 14-029