WSU professor to study river closure - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSU professor to study river closure

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John Day dam John Day dam

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington State University professor plans to study the impact of closing navigation locks on the Columbia and Snake rivers this winter.

Ken Casavant, a professor of economics, says potential impacts to shippers are unknown because the locks previously have been closed for only a few weeks at a time.

The Army Corps of Engineers is replacing gates at The Dalles and John Day dams on the Columbia River and at the Lower Monumental dam on the lower Snake River.

The rivers will be closed to barge traffic for at least three months, from Dec. 10 to March 18. More than 8 million tons of cargo, valued at as much as $2 billion dollars, moves by barge each year.