The Panama Canal expansion project is now 85% complete, following the installation Monday of the first lock gate at the waterway’s Pacific entrance, the Panama Canal Authority said.
The gate, located in what is known as lock head one, is the first of eight gates that will be installed on the Pacific side of the waterway.
The expansion project will see eight gates installed on both the Atlantic and Pacific ends of the canal. The installation of the gates for the new locks began in December 2014 at the Atlantic side, where two gates have already been installed, the authority said.
“[Monday’s] installation marks an important step towards the completion of the expansion program,” said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge Quijano. “This project will have an important impact on world maritime trade and will further position Panama as the logistic hub of the Americas.”