Crews this month wheeled ashore the first four of sixteen gates—each the size of a 10-story building—for the Panama Canal’s new locks, a major milestone for the $5.2-billion project. Mounted on self-propelled motorized wheel transporters, each of the 3,100-ton gates was off-loaded onto a temporary dock on the Atlantic side of the waterway, not far from the new locks that will be their permanent home.
The gates, costing about $548 million to fabricate and install, are the centerpiece of the enormous third set of locks that is being built as part of the so-called third-lane expansion of the canal. When finished, the new locks are projected to double the historic waterway’s capacity by allowing the passage of post-Panamax-sized shipping vessels. The new gates will roll in and out from housings within the new lock structure, unlike the canal’s existing locks, which use miter-style gates that swing outward to permit the passage of vessels from one chamber to another. The second pair will arrive in November.
Because it can moderate the damaging effects of earthquakes, base-isolation is a technique used primarily in seismically active regions. ENR takes a look at some of the largest applications of base-isolation technologies in the world.