Panama Canal Expansion Continues to Progress

The Panama Canal Expansion Program, currently 95 percent complete, continues to progress and is one step closer to its opening in 2016.

In November, the fourth phase of the Pacific Access Channel (PAC-4) was brought to near completion.

Most notably, the 2.3 kilometer-long PAC-4 reached the water level of Gatun Lake, an important milestone in the Expansion Program. The filling of the PAC-4 was overseen by FCC-ICA Meco.

During the filling process, the Borinquen 1E dam, which separates PAC-4 from Culebra Cut, was closely monitored using technology such as inclinometers, settlement plates, topographic instruments and vibrating wire piezometers to ensure the integrity of the dam was maintained.

In total, the Pacific Access Channel is 6.1 kilometers long and is designed to provide navigation access to and from the new Pacific locks to the existing Culebra Cut, the narrowest stretch of the Panama Canal.

As the excavation and filling process has been completed, the Panama Canal Dredging Division will proceed with the removal of the natural land plug separating the new channel from Gatun Lake.

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