Ballard Locks fish ladder needs repairs due to February flooding

The historic flooding at the Ballard Locks in February caused significant damage to the fish ladder, requiring urgent repairs before next winter.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers first observed some concrete erosion in 2019, and after the flooding, a diver found it had worsened considerably.

The Army Corps diver found that the concrete lost to erosion between the spillway apron and sheet pile wall is approximately 20 feet long, about five
feet wide, and four feet deep. The damage (below) exposed the native foundation material, compromising the structural integrity of the fish ladder and spillway structures if left unprepared.

The Army Corps says the erosion damage accelerates when the foundation material is exposed, meaning the repairs should be done urgently.

Dallas Edwards from U.S. Army Corps says that the work will likely be done in mid-September to mid-October—before the next rainy season. He says they haven’t yet determined the impact to the public, but that they’re planning the work around water management needs and the annual fish migration through the Locks.

To read more about the planned repairs, click here.

As a reminder, the gardens and pedestrian bridge at the Ballard Locks is still closed. Edwards says they’ll probably reopen in phases, starting with the gardens—we’ll update when they have firm dates for reopening.

5 thoughts to “Ballard Locks fish ladder needs repairs due to February flooding”

  1. The national weather service does not mention the historic flooding that was mentioned and linked to in the article. Perhaps it is special local flooding that only affects the Locks? Or maybe the national weather service just hasn’t updated its washington flood events.

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