CULEBRA CUT or (Gaillard Cut)

Is seven point eight miles long; 500 feet wide with a depth of 42 feet.
It is just south of GATUN LAKE


The two buttons below are linked to several photos taken from the panoramio web site.
FRENCH CONSTRUCTION  Centennial Bridge
Each panoramio photographers name appears in the corner of each photo.


ENLARGING THE CANAL FOR LARGER SHIPS

Because of its history, its unusual geology and the fact that it slices through the Continental Divide, Gaillard Cut holds special interest for ship passengers transiting the Canal. During the Canal construction period it was called Culebra Cut, but was renamed for Col. David DuBose Gaillard, the engineer who was in charge of this section of the Canal work.

This portion of the channel is about eight miles long and was carved through rock and shale for most of the distance. It was here that the principal excavation was required and here that the devastating slides occurred during construction and soon afer the Canal was opened.

The ships enter the Cut where the Chagres River flows into the Canal channel at Gamboa. More than any other section of th Canal, Gaillard Cut gives the impression of the waterway as an enormous ditch. A short distance before the ship reaches Pedro Miguel Locks it passes Gold Hill on the left, the highest promontory along the channel. It rises 587 feet above sea level.

Contractor's Hill, seen on the west bank opposite Gold Hill, originally had an altitude of 410 feet, this was reduced to 370 feet to stabalize the hill in 1954. The channel in Gaillard Cut was originally excavated to a width of 300 feet. During the 1930's and 1940's, the straight section imediately north of Gold Hill was widened to 500 feet to provide a passing secton for large ships.




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