First Gate Installed in Panama Canal’s New Pacific Locks
The first gate will be installed in lock head one facing Gatun Lake; canal expansion program 85 percent complete
The first gate for the Panama Canal’s new locks in the Pacific side was installed earlier today after being carried to its final destination on self-propelled motorized wheel transporters (SPMTs) with more than 400 wheels each, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported. The installation marks another milestone for the canal’s expansion program, which is now 85 percent complete overall.
“Today’s installation marks an important step towards the completion of the Expansion Program,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano. “This project will have an important impact on world maritime trade and will further position Panama as the logistic hub for the Americas.”
Located in what is known as lock head one the new gate is the first of eight that will be installed in the new locks at the Pacific side of the waterway. The steel rolling gate is 8 meters wide, 57.6 meters long and 22.28 meters in height, weighing 2,300 tons.
The installation of the gates for the new locks began in December 2014 at the Atlantic side, where two gates have already been installed.
Upon completion, the two new lock complexes will have a total of 16 gates, eight in the Pacific and eight in the Atlantic.