The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced a key milestone in the Expansion Program, with the installation of the sixteenth and final gate for the new locks on the Pacific side of the Canal.
The installation process began yesterday, April 28, at 12:00 PM (Panama Time) on the south end of the Canal’s Pacific locks, which connect directly to the ocean. The final gate is one of the heaviest and weighs 4,232 tons, or roughly 8.5 million pounds. It measures 57.6 meters wide by 10 meters long and 33 meters high.
“The installation is a key milestone in the Expansion Program and another important step forward for the Canal,” said Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “Once finished, the expanded waterway will provide new possibilities for world maritime trade and further position the Canal as a reliable route to the industry.”
Manufactured in Italy, the new gates first arrived in Panama in four staggered shipments starting in August of 2013. With the installation of the final gate in the Pacific, another important stage begins with the electro-mechanical work, which connects the gates with the other structures in the new locks.
The Panama Canal Expansion recorded an overall advance of 87.6 percent among all its components. With all 16 gates now installed, the next milestone for the expanded Canal will occur when the lock chambers are flooded.
The installation of all eight gates on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal was completed earlier this month on April 1.