City Light to Replace Newhalem Penstock Saddles

Seattle City Light will be replacing 52 deteriorating, wooden saddles that support the Newhalem Penstock with new, cast-in-place concrete saddles. These new saddles will provide structural stability and protect the integrity of the penstock.

The penstock is a pipe that delivers water from the creek to the hydro turbines that are located inside the Newhalem powerhouse. The water turns the turbines, which eventually produces electricity.

The Newhalem Penstock is located on the south bank of the Skagit River in the town of Newhalem, WA. The project is within the Ross Lake National Recreation Area, which is part of the North Cascades National Park Complex.

This project is expected to start in mid-July 2016 and last approximately 12-14 weeks. Daily work hours are from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekend work is possible.

Map of the construction work area

During construction, trucks will use the access road to Loop C and Group Sites A and B of the Newhalem campground. All park facilities will remain open. At times, a helicopter may be used to deliver materials and concrete to the site. Park users may encounter additional noise. The Trail of the Cedars will also be open during construction. It will be rerouted around the construction site.

For more information, customers can contact Lisa Williams, Project Manager at (206) 733-9268 or

This information is also available on the City Light construction website: