With 3 days to go before its official inauguration, the new locks of the Panama Canal have drawn the attention from all over the world.
(Soundbite) Jorge Luis Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator
“Now we come to a point where I can say the main problem is the event and not the locks. So we have reached a turning point, where we are becoming more worried about whether everything will go smoothly on Sunday (when the locks are officially inaugurated).”
Successful tests were conducted for the Cocoli Locks connecting the Panama City on the Pacific side with Colon on the Caribbean side.
It took 9 years to finish the 5.25 billion U.S. dollars expansion work, almost tripling its capacity.
The new locks are 180 feet wide and 1,400 feet long, specially designed for New Panamax-class vessel, which can carry 13,000 to 14,000 containers, about 2.5 to 3 times those of current ones.