The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is expecting its final shipment of new lock gates for its expansion project by January 2015 – announcing today that the third shipment of gates arrived on Sunday.
The expansion of the Panama Canal consists of creating a new lane of traffic by constructing a new set of locks along the waterway, thereby allowing the passage of 13,000 TEU-capacity vessels instead of 5,000 TEU.
These new, enormous steel gates are around 30m high, 58m long, 8-10m wide and weigh 3,300-4,400 tons.
Unlike the existing mitre gates, the new lane will have rolling, motorised gates that can be retracted into recesses.
Italian subcontractor Cimolai began building the gigantic gates in October 2011. The first gate shipment arrived in Panama in August 2013 and the second one in June 2014.
The third shipment of four gates left Trieste on August 17 and arrived on September 7.
The canal administration has said that works on the expansion project are now 79% complete.