A new milestone was reached at the Panama Canal, after completing the construction of the first monolith for the new locks on the Pacific end of the Panama Canal. This monolith is the first one to be completed from a total of 46 such structures being built in the Pacific locks upper chamber. The term monolith refers to each of the sections in which the lock walls are being divided to facilitate their construction.

The massive concrete and steel structure is 33.84 meters high, 7.5 meters wide and 27 meters deep and is located in the upper chamber’s east side. The enormous culverts are part of the locks filling and emptying system and will run along the lock walls, made up of these monoliths.  To give an idea of their dimensions, the main culvert alone is 8.3 meters wide by 6.5 meters high, big enough to enable the simultaneous passage of two railroads. The lock walls will also contain the auxiliary culverts measuring 6.5 meters wide by 6.5 meters high.

The construction of this monolith required 232 tons of reinforced steel and 2,605 cubic meters of concrete.

“As we reach another milestone, we at the Panama Canal are proud to acknowledge that this new third lane will be a game changer in world maritime commerce,” said Panama Canal Authority Administrator/ CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.

Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double tonnage capacity and allow the transit of much longer, wider ships through the waterway.