The large chamber of the Ballard Locks will be closing for 53 days starting Feb. 12.
This is the second scheduled extended closure to allow crews to replace the chamber’s filling culvert valves.
“We were able to meet our scheduled re-opening date with our first closure in the fall, and we’re extremely confident we’ll be back in operation by no later than April 4,” Locks Operations Manager Jon Hofstra said in a statement.
The project will replace the 102-year-old filling culvert gates, known as as the Stoney Gate Valves, originally designed and used during the Panama Canal construction.
“The contractor is jack hammering out old components that extend up nearly 30 feet in a space that is only about 3-feet wide,” Project Manager Peter Gibson said. “Once demolition is complete, forms will be erected to create the new valve component space and then concrete poured.”
Beginning Feb. 17, the contractor will be running crews 24 hours a day for three weeks, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The work will take place in the machine access area below ground, which will muffle the sounds, but cranes and other equipment will be active above ground.
The small chamber will remain open to vessels up to 28-feet wide by 123-feet long during the large chamber closure.
The next extended closure is scheduled for Oct. 12 through Dec. 3, 2020.