Passage to 2000

by John C. Gribar, P.E., (M.ASCE), Proj. Dir.; Canal Capacity Projects Ofc., Panama Canal Commission, Balboa, Panama,
Jaime A. Bocanegra, Manager; Transition Mgmt. Staff, Panama Canal Commission, Balboa, Panama,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 12, Pg. 48-53

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: On Dec. 31, 1999 the United States turns over ownership and operations of the Panama Canal Commission. In preparation for the handover, the Panama Canal Commission, an independent U.S. agency, is conducting a $1 billion rehabilitation and modernization program intended to increase the waterway's reliability, efficiency, and safety, and cut maintenance costs. Major components of the program, begun in the mid-1990s and scheduled to be completed by 2002, include straightening and widening the Gaillard Cut, the narrow portion of the canal that crosses the continental divide; the purchase of new tugboats and locomotives (electric engines that laterally position ships as they enter and move through the locks); the replacement of locomotive track; the installation of hydraulic cylinder arms for operation of the lock gates; and the implementation of a new vessel traffic management system.

Subject Headings: Civil engineering landmarks | Construction | Canals | Locks | Panama Canal | Rehabilitation

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