Tomorrow and Friday (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) both locks at the Ballard Locks will be closed while U.S. Navy divers prepare the salmon exclusion structure for winter operations. The locks will have a full closure (both locks) from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, and a large-lock-only closure from 8-11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
As part of the annual winter maintenance, divers will open the Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure that exists to prevent salmon from entering the lock’s saltwater return intake. They closed the structures in the spring for the annual salmon migration, and now will return to open the ten, 10-foot-by-6-foot doors that are immediately upstream of the locks.
There will be more scheduled closures beginning next week for more maintenance: the large lock will be closed to all marine traffic for annual maintenance from 9 a.m. on Nov. 5 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 20. The small lock will still be open, but only for vessels less than 115 feet in length and 26-feet-wide during that time. During that lock closure, BNSF Railway will be doing structural upgrades to the Ballard railroad bridge that crosses the Ship Canal just west of the locks. High masted vessels won’t be able to pass the bridge between 9 a.m. and midnight on Nov. 5, 7, 12, and 14.