The Ballard Locks will be closing periodically over the next couple weeks as U.S. Navy divers prepare the locks for normal winter operations. The upcoming closures are scheduled for Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and Nov. 5-20. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say vessel operators should pay close attention to times, vessel-size restrictions, and impacts caused by railroad bridge maintenance as well.
On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, divers are scheduled to prepare the Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure for normal winter operations. Both the small and large lock are scheduled to be closed Oct. 31 for a maximum of four hours, from 8 a.m. to noon. The large lock only is scheduled to be closed from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 1.
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.
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.