Canal starts

20 March 2008

Several JCB machines are playing a major role in widening the Panama Canal. The decision to widen the 77 km waterway that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was taken by a national referendum. This resulted in a resounding “Yes” to the proposed 10-year, US$ 5 billion scheme to double the canal's capacity.

JCB equipment on site includes six ADT 722 dump trucks being loaded by JS200 and JS330 excavators. The machines, owned by large local contractor Corporacion de Negocios y Transferencias and Alquileres Coamco, are working 18 hours a day to help move 200 million m3 of earth and rock. The aim is to reduce the height of the canal bank prior to the start of widening and deepening work.

The project includes the creation of a third set of chamber locks and a third lane so the canal will be capable of handling the more modern, larger container ships and tankers that are unable to use it at present.

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