Camping at the Boundary Dam Forebay Recreation Area in Pend Oreille County will be closed, starting tomorrow, until early August while Seattle City Light completes maintenance work on a sluice maintenance gate for the dam.
City Light is rehabilitating the 312-ton gate, which is used to seal the dam from the outside so maintenance work can be done on any of the dam’s sluice gates, which open and close to control the amount of water in the reservoir. It has been 27 years since the maintenance gate was last removed for its own maintenance.
The gate was removed last September and a temporary building was constructed for the maintenance work, which includes high-pressure abrasive blasting to remove rust and paint from the gate, applying a new finish, taking down the temporary building and replacing bearings and wheels on the gate before it can be put back on the dam.
“The construction activities that are going to be going on are loud, dirty and a potential safety concern to the general public, so it would not be wise to keep the campground open,” Boundary Dam Generation Supervisor Lonnie Johnson said.
City Light expects to keep access to the boat launch open throughout the work, though some short restrictions might be needed, Johnson said.
Parking for vehicles and boat trailers will be affected by the construction work. Specially designated areas will be available within the recreation area, but parking spaces closest to the boat launch and construction area will be closed.
Boundary Dam on the Pend Oreille River in northeast Washington provides about 60 percent of the power City Light produces for its customers.
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.