The first four gates for the Panama Canal’s third set of locks have arrived at the waterway’s Atlantic side from Italy’s Port of Trieste onboard the vessel STX Sun Rise.
Built by subcontractor Cimolai, the first four gates are 57.6 meters (about 189 feet) long, 10.0 meters wide and 30.2 meters high, and weigh an average of 3,100 tons. The steel gates will be installed in the middle chamber of the new locks in the Atlantic side, after being transported to their final position using the same self-propelled motorized wheel transporters that are used to load and unload from the ship.
“This is an exciting moment for the Panama Canal — the arrival of the new gates marks a great progress for this engineering project,” said Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal administrator, in a written statement.
The new locks of the expanded Panama Canal have a total of 16 rolling gates (eight for each new lock complex). The gates are being shipped four at a time from Italy and will be unloaded onto a temporary dock until ready for installation. Unlike the current canal, which uses miter gates, the expanded canal will have steel rolling gates.
The Panama Canal expansion is currently 62 percent complete.
The Panama Canal Authority released a video of the third set of locks arriving from Italy: