Seattle City Light is scheduled to reopen the Forebay Recreation Area at Boundary Dam in Pend Oreille County on Sept. 30.
The recreation area and campground has been closed while City Light crews rehabilitate a 312-ton sluice maintenance gate used on Boundary Dam. Boat launch access has remained open throughout the project.
The sluice maintenance gate 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.
Crews removed the gate 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.
City Light has scheduled the complex set of moves to put the gate back on the dam Sept. 20-22. That process involves lowering and raising the elevation of the Pend Oreille River behind the dam several times to float the gate off a trailer and position it on the dam.
After that work is completed, equipment and materials will be removed from Forebay to return it to full recreational use. However, water service to the recreational area will be turned off for winter at the end of September.
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.