FEBRUARY 5, 2016— The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reports that sill reinforcements in the new locks have been completed this week, bringing the Panama Canal Expansion one step closer to inauguration.
The reinforcements were made after leaks were discovered last year in the concrete sill between the lower and middle chamber of the Canal’s expanded Pacific Lock when it was subjected to stress in extreme condition testing. It was decided that, in addition to reinforcing the problem, sill, five more sills would be reinforced as a preventative measure.
The filling of the Pacific-facing Cocoli Locks has already begun, and the filling of the Atlantic-facing Agua Clara Locks began yesterday.
Once the locks are filled, the sills will undergo a rigorous testing process to ensure their integrity and proper function.
"Every day, we move closer to completion," said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO, Jorge L. Quijano. "But the key for us, as it has always been, is to do so in a way that maintains the highest standards are met, ensuring Canal operations for the next 101 years and more."
Less than four percent remains to complete the Panama Canal Expansion Program, which is expected to be inaugurated in the second quarter of 2016. The ACP says it will continue to provide updates on the project as more progress and information are made available.