New gates' arrival is milestone for Panama Canal expansion
In a major milestone for the Panama Canal expansion program, the first four gates for the new locks, which were dispatched from the port of Trieste (Italy), arrived at the Central American waterway's Atlantic side on board the semi-submersible vessel "STX Sun Rise". Built by subcontractor Cimolai SpA, the gates are 57.6 m long, 10 m wide and 30.19 m high, and weigh an average of 3,100 t. They will be installed in the middle chamber of the new locks in the Atlantic side.
Some 62% of the Panama Canal expansion scheme has been completed. It involves the construction of a third traffic lane allowing the passage of post-panamax vessels. The expansion will double the canal's capacity and have an important impact in world maritime trade.