A major milestone was reached in the Panama Canal expansion program when the first four gates for the new locks arrived on the Atlantic side of the shipping lane. The gates were transported by the semisubmersible vessel STX Sun Rise from the Italian port of Trieste.
The four gates, manufactured by the subcontractor Cimolai SpA, are 57.6 m long, 10 m wide and 30.19 m high. On average they weigh 3,100 tons. They are installed in the central chamber of the new locks on the Atlantic side.
The new locks consist of a total of 16 roller gates (eight for each new lock complex). Four gates per shipment will arrive from Italy. First, they will be discharged to a temporary dock until they are ready for installation. In contrast to the existing channel with its miter gates, the channel is equipped with steel rolling shutter assemblies.
The expansion of the Panama Canal is 62 percent complete. It will permit post-Panamax ships to cross the canal which will double the capacity of the channel.