Panama Canal Expansion 93 Percent Complete

After water seepage was found in the new Pacific Locks, the agency is now awaiting a report from the main contractor for the expansion project, GUPC, after detailed root cause inspections.

The Panama Canal Authority reported Sept. 7 that operational testing of the massive new locks that have been installed as part of its expansion is under way, and that some water seepage has been found in the new Pacific Locks. Filling of the new locks began in June 2015 to test the culvert valves, maintenance bulkheads, and gates. This testing is meant to detect any deficiency in the project. The authority reported that the seepage occurred in section that was being stressed tested at levels "much higher than those required for normal operations, but that may occur during dry-chamber maintenance works in the future."

The agency is now awaiting a report from the main contractor for the expansion project, GUPC, after detailed inspections. The root cause analysis will be conducted, and the report will include recommended repairs. The authority also has assigned two independent external structural engineers to conduct an objective evaluation of the problem and to assess GUPC's solution.

The authority's announcement said the project is 93 percent complete.

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    June 2021

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