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First Gates Moved to New Panama Canal Locks

July 25, 2014
Eight gates are accounted for; eight still to come.

The transfer of the first gates to the new locks complex on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal expansion project represents an important milestone, according to Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

"This is a very important operation because it involved the first movement of the gates from the special dock where they were unloaded to the lower chamber of the new locks," he said.  He added that the process was carried out following rigorous safety measures to ensure that the more than 3,000-ton steel structures could be moved to the dry lock chambers using the pavement ramp built for this purpose.

Eight of the 16 rolling gates that will be used for the new locks are already in Panama. The remaining eight will arrive in two separate shipments from its manufacturing site in Italy.

The other gates are being moved from the temporary unloading dock to the dry lock chambers so that the area is available for the arrival of the remaining lock gates.

The Panama Canal Expansion Program is currently 77% complete.