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Introduction One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. The Panama Canal is a man-made canal which ...

PANAMA CANAL


Introduction
One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. The Panama Canal is a man-made canal which joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific ocean Replacing the long route via Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of  A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the Panama canal travels 9,500 km (6,000 miles), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 mile) route around The first attempt to construct the Panama Canal began in 1880 under French leadership. This attempt was failed and saw 21,900 workers died. Then the project of building a canal was attempted and completed by the US in the early 1900’s.
Concept of Panama Canal
The length of the Panama Canal is approximately 51 miles. A trip along the canal from its Atlantic entrance would take you through a 7 mile channel in Limón The canal then proceeds for a distance of 11.5 miles to the Gatun Locks. This series of three locks raise ships 26 metres to Gatun Lake.It continues through a channel in Gatun Lake for 32 miles to Gamboa. This channel is 8 miles long and 150 metres wide. At the end of this channel, there are the locks at Pedro Miguel. These Pedro Miguel locks lower ships 9.4 metres to a lake which then takes you to the Miraflores Locks. Miraflores lock then lower ships 16 metres to sea level at the canal.
The Construction

The Panama Canal was constructed in two stages. The first between 1881 and 1888, being the work carried out by the French company headed by de Lessop. Secondly the work by the Americans which eventually completed the canals construction between 1904 and 1914. In 1883 it was realized there was a tidal range of 20 feet at the Pacific, whereas, the Atlantic range was only about 1 foot. It was concluded that this difference in levels would be a danger to navigation. It was proposed that a tidal lock should be constructed at Panama to preserve the level from there to Colon. This plan would save about 10 million cubic meters of The French company started to run into financial difficulties during 1885 and even applied to the French government to issue lottery bonds, as this had been successful during the construction of the Suez Canal when that project was at the point of failure through lack of money. Rumors of these difficulties caused increased interest within the American Initially the locks at Gatun had been designed as 


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