The BIG DITCH
..
Panama Canal   -   1940
..
The third set of locks was almost built In the Panama Canal, just before WWII.
..
Why?
..
Because these ships were hard passing.

"PENNSYLVANIA" squeezing through Miraflores Locks


"MIDWAY" scraping the walls.

"LEXINGTON"



First excavation by dredging was in the Miraflores by-pass, it began on July 1, 1940,

 




As for the big merchant vessels, the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mary, and the Normandie, they could not squeeze into the old locks at all.  The projected locks would have had plenty of room for all corners. 

See:
ENLARGING THE CANAL FOR LARGER SHIPS   Or:  WIKIPEDIA



THIRD SET OF LOCKS PROJECT


The new locks will be in triple flights, with sliding lock gates on each chamber

The current plan is for two new flights of locks: one to the east of the existing Gatún locks, and one southwest of Miraflores Locks, each supported by approach channels. Each flight will ascend from ocean level direct to the Gatún Lake level; the existing two-stage ascent at Miraflores / Pedro Miguel will not be replicated. The new lock chambers will feature sliding gates, doubled for safety, and will be 1,400 feet long, 180 feet wide, and 60 feet deep; this will allow for the transit of vessels with a beam of up to 160 feet, an overall length of up to 1,200 feet and a draft of up to 50 feet, equivalent to a container ship carrying around 12,000, 20-foot-long containers (TEU).

The new locks will be supported by new approach channels, including a 3.8-mile-long channel at Miraflores from the locks to the Gaillard Cut, skirting around Miraflores Lake. Each of these channels will be 715 feet wide, which will require post-Panamax vessels to navigate the channels in one direction at a time

The Gaillard Cut and the channel through Gatún Lake will be widened to no less than 918 feet on the straight portions and no less than 1,200 feet on the bends. The maximum level of Gatún Lake will be raised from reference height 87.5 feet to 89 feet.

Each flight of locks will be accompanied by nine water reutilization basins (three per lock chamber), each basin being approximately 230 feet wide, 1,410 feet long, and 18 feet deep. These gravity-fed basins will allow 60 percent of the water used in each transit to be reused; the new locks will consequently use seven percent less water per transit than each of the existing lock lanes. The deepening of Gatún Lake, and the raising of its maximum water level, will also provide significant extra water storage capacity. These measures are intended to allow the expanded canal to operate without the construction of new reservoirs.                 from: New World Encyclpedia

.Go To GANTUN LOCKS  or   GATUN LAKE   or   CULEBRA CUT    or   MIRAFLORES LOCKS
..
Go To the PANAMA MAP    the     PACIFIC OCEAN MAP   or    the   ATLANTIC OCEAN MAP


NATIONAL OCEANIC and ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION VIEW POINT CELEBRATION LANDING RAMP MUSEUM