Corps to Proceed with Repairs to Ballard Locks; Work Crucial for Foss, other Maritime Businesses

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released its 2018 work plan, which includes an additional $13.15 million for repairs of Seattle’s Hiram Chittenden Locks. The budget assignment was considered a major victory for the Lake Washington Ship Canal Users Group, a coalition supported by Foss.

The tug Barbara Foss passes through the Ballard Locks on the way from the Lake Washington Ship Canal to Puget Sound.

The allocation brings the total amount of funding for the Lake Washington Ship Canal for 2018 to $23.02 million. The addditional funds will help the overall reliability and operation of the locks, while also improving fish passage.

The coalition steering committee thanked Foss for its support in a letter to Chief Operating Officer Scott Merritt. The steering committee wrote:

“Your support of our group, which includes commercial and recreational maritime groups; salmon recovery advocates; labor; and the City and Port of Seattle; has helped to show the U.S. Congress and the Corps that the Ballard Locks are vital to the nation by contributing more than $1.2 billion annually to the U.S. economy.”

Merritt said fully functioning locks are crucial for Foss’ and other maritime businesses’ operations on the ship canal.

“We applaud the Corps of Engineers for their commitment to this important maintenance project,” Merritt said.

Construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Hiram M. Chittenden Locks was completed in 1917. Connecting the waters of Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Salmon Bay to the tidal waters of Puget Sound, the canal and locks allow recreational and commercial vessels to travel to the docks and warehouses of Seattle’s busy fresh water harbor.

Foss Seattle Shipyard, plus moorage for company tugs and Foss Terminal, are on the Lake Washington Ship Canal.