Monday, June 15, 2009

That's My World Tuesday #36 - Ballard Locks

This past Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit the Hiram H. Chittenden Locks, also known as the Ballard Locks. They are part of Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal.

The website for the locks state this:

The locks serve 3 purposes.
* To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20 to 22 feet above sea level.
* To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes (saltwater intrusion).
* To move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.

The complex includes two locks, a small (30 x 150 ft, 8.5 x 45.7 meter) and a large (80 x 825, 24.4 x 251.5 meter). The complex also includes a (235-foot, 71.6 meter) spillway with six (32 x 12-foot (3.7 m), 9.8 x 3.7 meter) gates to assist in water-level control. A fish ladder is integrated into the locks for migration of anadromous fish, notably salmon.

The grounds feature a visitors center, as well as the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens.

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the locks were formally opened on July 4, 1917, although the first ship passed on August 3, 1916. They were named after U.S. Army Major Hiram Martin Chittenden, the Seattle District Engineer for the Corps of Engineers from April 1906 to September 1908. They were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Gates to the Small Lock Starting to Open

Boats Leaving While Others Wait to Enter

Loading the Large Vessel First

Shut the Doors!

Large Vessel at Lake Level

Larger of the 2 Locks Looking Towards Lake Union

Saturday Concert in the Gardens

Before leaving the parking area at the Locks, I popped on over to the Lockspot for a delicious fish sandwich!

Lockspot Cafe

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10 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Great shots of a great place! Always enjoy going there. Thanks for stopping by and your comment -- believe me, I was given very specific lessons by a neighbor on how to pronounce Sequim! She made me repeat it ten times!! I promised not to screw up when I get there.

Karen said...

Very cool shots and information!!!

I didn't know that there were locks on that lake ...even though my hubby spent quite a bit of his life in that area. Once he wakes up I shall ask him why he never told me about them as he is always going on about the Space Needle, the ballpark and so on. :-)

Gaelyn said...

I remember going to and thru the Ballard Locks many times. It was always entertaining. Great post and captures.

Lawstude said...

wonderful place. thanks for sharing.

Babooshka said...

Fascinating and a lot bigger than any lock I've ever been through.

fishing guy said...

Sally: Very cool post and some great photos of a neat place.

Cezar and Léia said...

wow it is really cool! So important informations and you visited this fabulous spot! wowwwwwwwwwww
Very interesting and your pictures are amazing!
Thanks for sharing!
Luna(from Brazil) and mommy Léia

Arija said...

Such an interesting post and so many people watching too.

Snap said...

We visited the lock several years ago. I was fascinated. I could still be standing there watching! Beautiful park, too. There was a flower show going on and I remember the gorgeous fuschia. Thanks for the educational post, photos and memories!

Barb said...

Very informative post. Looks like a busy area, with lots of boats and people.