Mission: Preserving and sharing stories of human enterprise and the power of the water at the great falls of the Willamette River.

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2018 Economic Benefits of Reopening the Willamette Falls Locks


The Willamette Falls Locks (“the Locks”) are an important piece of Oregon History and the oldest significant navigational facility west of the Rockies. Prior to their closure in 2011, the Locks provided vital passage for freight and recreational users around the Willamette Falls (“the Falls”), connecting the Mid-Willamette Valley to Portland and beyond.

PGE and the Willamette Falls

Willamette Falls has been an important economic and cultural site in Oregon for thousands of years, since their creation during the time of the great Missoula Floods.

2014 Willamette Falls Economic Potential Report


On January 1, 1873, the Willamette Falls Locks (WFL) opened and allowed passage around the Willamette Falls, the second largest waterfall by volume in the US behind Niagara Falls. The WFL were one of the first multi-lift tandem navigation locks built in the US.

Each of the WFL’s four tandem or adjacent lift-chambers provide 10 to 12 feet of elevation change.

US Army Corp of Engineers

Willamette Falls Locks - Willamette River, Oregon

Section 216 Preliminary Draft Disposition Study with Integrated Environmental Assessment.