Second floodgate installed in Panama Canal expansion project

January 4, 2015 6:37 am 

PANAMA CITY, Jan. 3 — Workers Friday installed the second floodgate as part of the ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal.

The Panama Canal Authority said installing the gate on the Atlantic Ocean side of the waterway's new lane took around four hours.

Like the first expansion-phase floodgate installed on Dec. 15, the 10-meter-by-30-meter second gate weighs more than 3,000 tons, and can slide back and forth on rolling wheels, something the old hinged floodgates cannot do.

In total, the new lane will have 16 floodgates, eight on the Pacific Ocean side, and eight on the Atlantic side.

The expansion project was due to be completed by 2014, in time for the centennial celebration of the Panama Canal, but the Panama Canal Authority now hopes to have the new lane operational in early 2016.

According to the authority, the expansion work, which begun in 2007 with an initial investment of 5.25 billion U.S. dollars, is 85 percent finished.

On Dec. 22, construction began for the inter-oceanic Nicaragua Canal, which, once completed in 2019, is expected to compete with the Panama Canal. (PNA/Xinhua)



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