100 years ago, The Locks and Ship Canal were built by Seattle and the Corps of Engineers as a commercial navigation route to develop the City of Seattle.  


Today the Hiram M. Chittenden (aka Ballard) Locks are the Nation's busiest with nearly 50,000 vessels/yr. "locking through".

Boats 'lock thru'  24 hours/day, except during maintenance.


In addition, there are significant salmon migrations through the Locks that, in a good year, total over 500,000 salmon.


Funding is based on commercial cargo, NOT actual boat traffic, number of visitors or salmon migration.  Today, commercial traffic is less than 5%, even the Fishing Fleet goes through empty and is not counted.  As a result, the Locks are significantly underfunded.


The Locks (See Map) are a Seattle Icon, National Historic Site
and a top tourist site attracting over 1.3 million visitors/yr.
The Grounds are open from 7:00am to 9:00pm, 365 days a year.


No fees are charged for visitors, commercial ships or private boats.  Even guided tours and summer concerts are free.


Check Out Social Media below for more information


The Aging Locks are in serious need of repairs and upgrades.  The Corps is struggling to maintain needed structural repairs, and visitor education facilities require private funding.  
Click to see Planned Visitor Improvements.

hiram m. chittenden