Expansion of the Panama Canal has progressed to 83% completion after the installation of the first lock gate took place recently.
According to the Journal of Commerce, the installation began on December 15, 2014 and is the first of 16 rolling gates to be installed on-site.
Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said: “This is a very important milestone for the Expansion Program. We see how the new locks are rapidly taking shape as we move towards the successful completion of the project.”
The gates are 10m wide and more than 30m high, each weighing more than 2,900 tonnes.
Each gate took around a month to ship to the canal, and the final shipment of lock gates arrived on November 12, 2014.
The Panama Canal Authority estimates installation of the first gate will be completed in the coming days, with an anticipated overall completion date of early 2016 for the US$5.2 billion Panama Canal expansion.
The expansion will ensure that New-Panamax vessels of 13-14,000 TEU can sail through the canal.
First Panama Canal Lock Gate Begins Installation. (Source: The Construction Index)