Touring the expanded Panama Canal’s new locks

The Panama Canal Expansion is the largest project at the Canal since its original construction. The project will create a new lane of traffic along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, doubling the waterway’s capacity. The existing locks allow the passage of vessels that can carry up to 5,000 TEUs. After the expansion the Post-Panamax vessels will be able to transit through the Canal, with up to 13,000 TEUs. The Expansion will double the Canal’s capacity, having a direct impact on economies of scale and international maritime trade.

The Canal Authority offered last Sunday a chance to all interested in seeing the mega-project up and close.  We were among the group of more than 45,000 people that took the tour  with the Panama Canal Authority as the host and guides, and it was an unforgettable and historical visit.

Canal administrator Jorge Luis Quijano said Sunday that the objective of opening the project to the public is so that “people can sense and understand the magnitude of the project.”

The Panama Canal is installing the last of 16 giant lock gates that are a key part of the waterway’s multibillion-dollar expansion.

Panama in 2006 decided to build a wider canal to accommodate vessels capable of carrying 2.5 times the number of containers held by ships currently using the canal. The canal is expected to open in April 2016.

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