Cracks and Leaks on The Panama Canal Expansion

The Panama Canal Expansion project has been going on for years, and has already gone past the initial, targeted completion time. Can a crack on the new locks cause even more problems, pushing the current target of project delivery by April, 2016? The Panama Canal Expansion is a $5 billion project aimed at constructing a set of locks than can accommodate the transit of larger ships. Work has been ongoing since September 2007, with a targeted 2014 completion. Besieged by cost disputes and strikes, the delivery date has been delayed to an April, 2016 target.

The project is said to be 90% complete. The recent 90-day, water filling process on the locks, for example, is already considered the beginning of compliance and operational testing. A crack, however, appears to have formed on the sill of the Cocoli Locks – one of the new locks in the expanded canal – with circulating videos and photos showing water leaking through concrete.

The contractor, Grupo Unidos por el Canal (“GUPC”) and the Panama Canal Authority (“ACP”) are already in coordination to determine possible solutions to the problem. The ACP has also announced the problem is not expected to impact deadlines.

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Buschshluter, Vanessa. “Panama Canal expansion prompts safety concerns.”, 24 Aug 2015. Web. 31 Aug 2015.

“New Panama Canal Leaks.” The Maritime Executive, 23 Aug 2015. Web. 31 Aug 2015.

Schuler, Mike. “A Big Crack Threatens the Panama Canal Expansion – VIDEO.” gCaptain, 23 Aug 2015. Web. 31 Aug 2015.

Scully, Donal. “Panama Canal Authority says crack in third set of locks will not delay expansion.” Splash24/7, 26 Aug 2015. Web. 31 Aug 2015.

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