Water will beginning flooding the locks around the Agua Fria locks on the Atlantic Coast side on Thursday 11 June, 2015 in preparation for the inauguration that is expected to take place upon the completion of the Panama Canal Expansion early 2016, according to Asia One.
The Atlantic and the Pacific sides of the newly expanded Panama Canal have had a total of 16 lock gates installed – eight on each side of the canal.
The filling of the Panama Canal locks is anticipated to take around 3-5 months, with container ships of up to 13,000 TEU ships being able to traverse the canal.
There were around 45,000 people who gathered to get a glimpse of the canal and took a tour of the site to see how much work has currently been completed.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has recently implemented its new toll structure in conjunction with the expansion project, which took affect in early 2015.
Despite facing much competition from the newly proposed Nicaragua Canal, a project that commenced in December 2014 at an anticipated cost of US$50 billion, it is not expected to be a threat to Panama as the Chinese are not prepared to fund the canal, according to the Jorges Quijano, CEO of ACP.
The Panama Canal expansion is currently 89.4% complete.