The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has completed the dredging to deepen and widen the navigational channels along Culebra Cut as part of the Expansion Program. This marks another important milestone for the Panama Canal expansion.
The dredging works started in March 2008, with the drilling by Panama Canal personnel on board of the drill barge Baru.
“This important achievement fills with pride each man and woman that works within the organization,” Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said. “Gradually, we are completing all the projects that make up the Expansion Program.”
Culebra Cut is an area of difficult access due to the type of material and being the narrowest portion of the Canal’s navigational channel. ACP equipment was used for this project, including the dredges Mindi, Rialto M. Christensen and Quibian I, and the drill barges Thor and Baru.
In addition, contracted equipment was also used: the dredge II Principe, property of Belgian company Jan de Nul Group, and the dredge Cornelius, property of the Netherlands-based company Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.
A total of 3.2 million cubic meters were removed during the deepening of Culebra Cut.
A week ago, the Expansion Program achieved another milestone, when the first million cubic meters of concrete were poured in the locks construction site on the Atlantic side. This represents 1,800 cubic meters of reinforced concrete poured in the wall of the southeast wing, at the point where the vessels will enter the locks from Gatun Lake.