Last week, members of the Willamette Falls Locks Working Group selected Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader and West Linn Mayor Russ Axelrod to serve as co-chairs of the group.
The Willamette Falls Locks Working Group’s mission is to lead efforts with the Army Corps of Engineers to repair and reopen the Willamette Falls Locks to full operational status for river travel. The Locks have been in caretaker status since 2011, essentially closed for navigational purposes due to life-safety reasons. The Corps has received limited federal funding to maintain the facility since 1999, when usage of the Locks reduced below its federal authorization to produce national economic benefit.
The Willamette Falls Locks Working Group supports Senate Bill (SB) 256, which is being considered by the 2017 Oregon Legislature to form a state commission to oversee a local economic impact study, support the final stages of the Corps’ Final Disposition Study of the Locks, and aid in identifying a local transferee of the Locks. SB 256 is the final product of the Willamette Falls State Task Force, which was formed out of SB 131 in 2015.
The Willamette Falls Locks Working Group is made up of members representing the following cities and organizations: Clackamas County, Metro Regional Government, West Linn, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Wilsonville Concrete, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, Portland General Electric, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the One Willamette River Coalition.
For more information, members of the media and public may contact Government Affairs Specialist Trent Wilson at 503-655-8206.