Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta briefed government and business leaders on the progress of the Panama Canal Expansion Program at an event in Miami, Fla. on Nov. 6. Alemán Zubieta confirmed expansion is moving ahead on-time, on-budget and will facilitate trade between the Port of Miami and the Panama Canal.
“Expansion is moving ahead as planned and will build a new lane of traffic along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks. Anticipated to be complete by 2014, the project will double the waterway’s capacity and allow more traffic and wider ships to transit,” said Alemán Zubieta. “The Port of Miami will be in a key strategic position to accommodate the world’s largest cargo vessels as a result of the expanded Panama Canal."
The event, organized by the Port of Miami, brought together high-level government and business representatives including Ambassador of Panama to the United States Jaime E. Alemán, Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners Dennis C. Moss and Port of Miami Director Bill Johnson.
Johnson provided an update on the Port’s capital improvement programs to fully maximize the benefits of the expanded Canal. According to Johnson, the Port is dredging its current draft from 42 to 50 feet to accommodate larger ships. The Port Tunnel is another significant project of the Port, designed to ease congestion and provide more expedited delivery of goods to distribution centers in the area. Both projects are expected to finish by expansion’s anticipated completion date of 2014.