Wider Panama Canal set for water trial

June 10, 2015

PANAMA CITY – Water will start rushing into the newly expanded Panama Canal on Thursday in one area that was widened, ahead of the waterway’s April 2016 re-inauguration.

The area around the new Agua Fria locks in Gatún, on the Atlantic coast, will be the site of the preliminary tests, the Panama Canal Authority said.

Completely filling up the first lock will take three to five months, according to the builders consortium Grupo Unidos Por el Canal.

GUPC is carrying out the extensive upgrade to the canal’s system of locks, to allow the waterway to accommodate ships carrying up to 14,000 containers of freight, triple the current size.

Upgrades began in 2007 and were scheduled to be completed in 2014 for the 100th anniversary of the canal, but the work has seen repeated delays.

With a year’s delay so far, the cost of the megaproject has hit some $5.25 billion.

About five percent of global maritime trade passes through the Panama Canal. Its biggest users are the United States and China.

Nicaragua last year launched construction of an ambitious $50 billion rival canal that could handle even larger ships. It is set to be completed within five years.

 

You may be interested

Pregnant sloth rescued after falling from a tree
Sloth watch
1242 views
Sloth watch
1242 views

Pregnant sloth rescued after falling from a tree

The Tico Times - October 20, 2017

Vet tech Larissa Calis of the nonprofit Kids Saving the Rainforest in Manuel Antonio, on Costa Rica's Central Pacific coast, wrote…

New country club launches reforestation program
Santa Ana
865 views
Santa Ana
865 views

New country club launches reforestation program

The Tico Times - October 20, 2017

Those who live in the hustle and bustle of Costa Rica's cities may associate reforestation and biological connectivity with the…

A reader’s glimpse of Monteverde recovery
Photos & Video
6961 views
Photos & Video
6961 views

A reader’s glimpse of Monteverde recovery

Katherine Stanley - October 19, 2017

Tico Times reader Margaret Burton wrote to us from the United States to share this photo taken by her brother-in-law Michael…