News Releases

Murray Saves Ballard Locks from Cutbacks

Jun 14 2005

Senator secures critical funding to avoid reduction in hours, services

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that she has successfully added $2.1 million to the Senate Energy and Water bill for the Lake Washington Ship Canal lock system. This funding will help support maintenance and operations of the Ballard Locks and avoid threatened closures and service cutbacks.

“Keeping the Ballard Locks running safely and efficiently is critical to our economic security in the Puget Sound and around the country,” Senator Murray said. “In this very tight budget year, I am pleased to have restored funding for a project that protects our economy and quality of life.”

The budget the President submitted to Congress in February only included $4.38 million for the Locks, which led local operators to begin discussions about drastically cutting operating hours which currently run round-the-clock. The funding was not restored within the budget passed by the House of Representatives.

At a hearing of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee in April, Senator Murray raised the question of funding for the Ballard Locks with the Lieutenant Carl Strock, Chief of Engineers for the Army Corps of Engineers. In March she introduced a request to restore the President’s funding cuts.

Thanks to Senator Murray’s work, the Senate Energy and Water bill will include $6.48 million for the Ballard Locks.

The bill now goes before the full Senate Appropriations Committee for approval.