The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks large chamber will close to marine traffic from 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Crews will conduct maintenance and safety inspections during the large chamber pump out and closure. Foot traffic may occasionally be diverted or delayed for crane operations, but pedestrians will always be able to cross. The small lock will continue round-the-clock operations, accommodating vessels less than 115 feet in length and 26 feet in width. Current information on locking through is available at http://bit.ly/BoaterInfo. Mariners may experience delays, depending on passage demand.
The annual closure gives dam safety experts and maintenance staff an opportunity to dry out the chambers for thorough inspection and make necessary repairs. Typically scheduled for two weeks, an additional week is required this year for de-watering and added maintenance. De-watering operations may take additional time while the original, 100-year old pump plant is being replaced. The maintenance crew will use smaller portable pumps to de-water while the pump plant is out of service.
This routine maintenance is necessary and important in keeping the Chittenden Locks safe and operational as the locks approach their 100-year anniversary in 2017.
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 http://bit.ly/BallardLocks or follow the Locks on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/chittendenlocks and http://twitter.com/ChittendenLocks.
Release no. 15-041