Close Calls at Panama Canal Prompt Expansion
By: Katie Pyne
The Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal may have been big enough for the ships that passed through its waterways when it opened in 1914, but these days freighters can barely squeeze through its narrow passages.
While I was editing episode 5 (about the Pamana Canal) of our new show Nerve Center, my editor and I cringed as we watched a large cargo ship try to clear the locks unscathed with mere inches on either side (whether or not it was successful, you'll have to watch the show to find out).
So after doing a little research I was glad to see that construction is underway on a third channel that will make this complex super system even bigger. Interestingly, the expansion of the Panama Canal is one of the largest construction projects in the world and will be a game changer for global shipping when the new channel opens in 2014.
Check out this NPR article for more details about this massive undertaking.