The Panama Canal Authority completed the third phase of digging the excavation for the new locks on the Pacific side of the canal.
The Pacific Access Channel will connect the third set of locks with the Culebra Cut at the entrance to Gatun Lake. The entire canal expansion project is expected to be finished late 2014.
The third phase of the PAC, costing $36.6 million, consisted of excavating 29.9 million cubic feet of rock and earths, cleaning 470 acres of munitions and explosives left over from the U.S. Army’s artillery range, and leveling Paraíso Hill from 150 feet to 90 feet above sea level.
The canal authority said the excavation project was completed within budget, on time and in compliance with strict environmental, safety, hygiene and quality standards.
The canal authority has now completed three of the four dry excavation projects, which will result in a 3.73-mile channel that will allow larger and wider post-Panamax vessels to transit the canal once the expansion project is completed.
The canal authority said the expansion is on schedule, following the recent commencement of the permanent concrete work for the new locks.