Today we’ll talk about an annual event that began this week: it’s the annual, temporary closing of the US Army Corps of Engineers Portland District locks at the Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day dams.

Each year the locks close for two weeks to allow technicians to inspect them and repair and maintain the equipment. It’s an essential preventive step that helps keep the Columbia Snake River system carrying commerce year round.

Downriver ports know it’s happening so they can plan around it, and some even do their own maintenance during that time.

Image: Aerial view of the Columbia River and the Bonneville Dam, courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers.