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


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: Systems management | Ships | Rail transportation | Locks (waterway) | Civil engineering landmarks | Water transportation | Traffic management

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