Leakages close small chamber at Ballard Locks

The small chamber of the Ballard Locks is closed while repairs are made to fix leaks found in the west gates of the lock.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, last weekend the small lock’s gates started to experience abnormal vibration, shaking, and increased leakage at the miter joint and sill joint.

On Wednesday, remotely operated vehicle inspections found that the sill seal is damaged, which if it worsens, could cause constant water flow under the small lock gates.

To fix the problem, operators are closing, de-watering and repairing the sill. They expect the outage could last until September 13.

Most vessels will be permitted to travel through the large lock during the small lock closure, with the exception of un-motorized vessels, such as kayaks, canoes, and rowboats. Other vessels will be permitted, but should be prepared with appropriate equipment, including 50-foot-long lines and fenders on board.

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