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Corps Of Engineers Say Bonneville Navigation Lock Will Reopen September 30

Army Corps of Engineers officials in Portland say the Bonneville Dam navigation lock will allow vessels to pass through the lock beginning at 10 a.m. on September 30. The navigation lock was closed last Thursday after lock operators detected problems with the lock during operation. Engineers “dewatered” the lock on Friday and discovered the downstream concrete sill, a structure against which lock gates create a water-tight seal, had cracks. The Corps then closed the lock to vessels on the river. According to the Portland District engineering team, the damage they observed was unusual, and the annual inspections of the dam, last performed January 2017, did not reveal any abnormalities. Work on the lock will include demolition, drilling holes for rebar, forming the new sill structure and allowing time for the concrete to cure. The Bradford Island Visitor Center and recreation areas on Bradford and Robins islands are closed due to the lock issue. The fish hatchery at Bonneville is unaffected by the navigation lock and open to visitors, and the Corps’ Washington Shore Visitor Complex is also open. Corps’ Portland District Commander Col. Aaron Dorf says teams will work around the clock to construct the new sill and reopen the lock.