The construction of the new set of locks on the Panama Canal, which will allow larger ships to pass, appears to have experienced a breakthrough during this year’s dry season.
The administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, Jorge Quijano, has announced that the new locks on the Atlantic side could be finished by December 2014, and that the entire expansion could be expected to be finished by April 2015.
“We are confident that if we continue with this pace the project can be finished in April of 2015,” Quijano said. According to his statements, the construction is currently 53% complete, with the dredging and the entry points to the expansion being largely finished.
This would mean that larger Post-Panamax vessels up to 366 meters in length could start crossing the Canal by mid-2015. Currently, Panamax vessels measure a maximum of 294 meters.
The expansion of the Panama Canal is an ambitious project that includes the creation of new, larger locks on the Pacific and Atlantic side, the excavation of a new access channel on the Pacific side and the deepening of the existing channels and Gatun lake.
If you are interested in the technical details of the Canal Expansion, you can find the full expansion report here
Did you know that it is possible to take a boat ride through the Panama Canal, or take an aerial tour of it in a vintage airplane?