The first of four gates to be used in the Panama Canal expansion. (Screengrab: Panama Canal Authority)
August 21, 2013
PANAMA CITY, Panama—Gates that will hold back the water as it rises and falls in the locks of the expanded Panama Canal have been delivered to the construction site.
The four gates were manufactured in Italy by subcontractor Cimolai SpA, and shipped from the port of Trieste on the semi-submersible vessel STX Sun Rise.
The steel closures measure 57.6m long, 10m wide and 30.19m high, and weigh an average of 3,100 tonnes.
Once completed, the canal will employ 16 rolling gates (eight for each new lock complex). The gates in the existing canal are miter gates.
Until they are installed, they will be stored on a temporary dock. When the construction crews are ready to set the gates in place, they will be transported to their final position using the same self-propelled motorized wheel transporters (SPMTs) that are used to load and unload the gates 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 Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano.
To see a video of the gates and watch their arrival, click here.