Park below Visitor Center will close until mid-April
The Bureau of Reclamation is advising motorists and visitors to Grand Coulee Dam to anticipate traffic delays on highway 155 and closures of adjacent facilities while the Bonneville Power Administration prepares to remove overhead transmission lines.
The overhead lines cross Highway 155, the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center, and the Lower Visitor Center Park. To ensure public safety, traffic delays and the closure of the visitor center and park will be required. Starting Feb. 23, helicopter crews will take part in classroom and possible flight training in the area to prepare for the removal of the overhead lines. Helicopters will be used from Feb. 27 to March 24 to remove the overhead lines from the Third Power Plant.
“We want people to be aware that they will see and hear helicopter traffic around Grand Coulee Dam for the next four weeks as the overhead lines are removed,” said Lynne Brougher, Grand Coulee Power Office public affairs officer.
From March 12 to March 24, motorists should anticipate traffic delays of five to 10 minutes on Highway 155 as flaggers guide drivers through the construction zone. Warning signs will be posted. Construction will last about 10 hours a day Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Construction on Sunday will occur if it is considered necessary.
The Lower Visitor Center Park will also be closed from Feb. 26 to April 14 to accommodate the removal of two high voltage towers in the park. The Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center will also close from March 12 to March 17.
The visitor center operations will be moved to the Magnetometer Building located on the west side of the Columbia River in the town of Coulee Dam. For further information, call (509) 633-9503.
The work is part of a plan to reroute high voltage lines from the the dam’s largest power plant to a 500 kilovolt switchyard west of Coulee Dam as part of a massive upgrade to the powerplant that will take a decade.