PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Officials say a critical navigation lock at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River will reopen to barge traffic between Friday night and Saturday morning depending on the results of final operation testing.
Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Portland, Oregon, said Thursday that their engineers are inspecting and testing the lock and newly-repaired concrete sill.
The navigation lock was closed Sept. 5 after operators detected problems and further investigation revealed cracked concrete.
Barges carrying wheat, wood and other goods have been at a standstill ever since. The lock is reopening a few days earlier than expected because of good weather and round-the-clock construction.
The Bonneville Dam is the first in a series of eight dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, which together make up a watery highway for goods flowing into and out of the region from the Pacific Rim.