A deeper, wider Panama Canal by 2014
Expansion at the Panama Canal is underway. Two new sets of locks are being added, one on the Pacific side and one on the Atlantic. In addition, the project entails widening and deepening the existing navigational channels and the deepening of Culebra Cut. The project is estimated to be completed in 2014.
The Panama Canal was originally carved out between 1880 and 1914. We will get to see the effect power tools and heavy machinery can have on this project.
The expansion program is of such a large scale, it is interesting to see. Speaking of visual, there is a great multimedia collection from the expansion’s progress so far that show the steps taken and explains the project’s various aspects from conservation to excavation. There are also videos and impressive before/after shots.
The expansion of the canal may reduce the port usage in California as more ships will be able to pass through to the Atlantic and deliver their cargo closer. As NPR reports, East Coast cities are looking to their own expansion projects to deepen their ports for these super cargo ships for more business.