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April 28, 2005
Maximum Dimensions Allowed:


Length: 965 feet (294.13 meters)

Draft: 39.5 feet (12.04 meters)

Beam: 106 feet (32.31 meters)

General Information:


Locks: 33.5 meters wide, 305 meters long

Operates using fresh water from watershed rivers.

Salt water would require pumping from sea level 26 meters below canal.

Operating and maintaining salt water pumps would exhorbitantly expensive.

Salt would corrode lock mechanism and destroy vegetation.

Miraflores Lock:


Tallest and heaviest miter gates.

Located on Pacific side.

These gates were designed to handle the Pacific coast's extreme tide fluctuations.

These gates are 25 meters high and weigh 730 tons.

Gates: There are 40 pairs of miter gates dating back to initial construction.

Gates are serviced every 10 to 15 years.

During service, they are removed to dry dock on Atlantic side.

  Average ship pays $47,000 in tolls to transit the canal.

All tols are paid in advance at a local bank.


Tolls: During Construction:

152.9 cubic meters of material was removed.

Half of the material came from Gaillard (Culebra) cut.

Alexander La Valley, a floating crane, made first complete transit on January 7, 1914.

Inauguration took place on August 15, 1914 with the transit of the SS Ancron.

On May 20, 1942, the Miraflores Swing Bridge opened. 

This  was the first permanent bridge for vehicles across the canal.


These links are in order as they are transited from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Gatum Locks Gamboa Gaillard Cut Pedro Miguel Locks Miraflores Locks

Gatum Locks
Gaillard Cut
Pedro Miguel Locks
Miraflores Locks

Other stuff on our trip.

Huatulco Mexico

Panama Canal Cruise





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