The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced on Sunday that water testing of repairs to cracks in the Pacific-side Cocoli Locks was successfully completed.
New third locks at both ends of the man-made waterway were given steel reinforcements over a period of months following August’s discovery of cracks and leaks in the sill of one of the new locks.
The new locks are a vital part of the huge $5.25bn expansion project the Canal is undergoing to enable it to handle the post-Panamax container vessels, effectively tripling the amount of cargo per vessel that the port can handle.
Multinational contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), which is responsible for the locks construction, also did the steel reinforcing fix job.
The cracks were just the latest in a number of delays to the project which was originally scheduled for completion in 2014. In the latest announcement, on February 3, Canal chief Jorge Quijano said the expanded canal would be ready for action by the end of June.