Expected navigation system opening delayed - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Expected navigation system opening delayed

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NEAR KAHLOTUS, Wash.—The world's largest wheat navigation system was expected to open Monday, but now there is a delay.

Work on the Lower Monumental Dam's downstream lock replacement has been delayed because of the weather.  High winds and rain made it difficult to complete work on time.  When the metal surfaces are wet it affects the sandblasting, painting, welding and the installation of the seal-framing assemblies. 

Covering the gate is not an option, because it's very large and needs to be moved frequently during the painting and welding progress.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representative says they do not expect the delay to cause any issues.  They expect the reopening date to be March 26th at 5:00pm.