The Panama Canal Authority has opened the bidding process for the last of four dry-excavation contracts for the waterway’s third-lane expansion. The dry excavation is needed to create a 6.7-km link between the existing navigational channel at the entrance to the Gaillard Cut, the canal’s narrowest stretch, as well as the new set of locks yet to be constructed. Last month, that $3.1-billion contract was won by an international team of contractors and design firms, Grupo Unidos por el Canal, led by Spanish contractor Sacyr Vallehermoso S.A. The upcoming excavation contract represents more than half the total works needed for
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.