September 4, 2007
THE PANAMA CANAL AUTHORITY STARTS THE EXPANSION OF THE PANAMA CANAL : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: Panama City -- September 4, 2007 -- Thousands gathered in a ceremony near Paraiso Hill in Panama to celebrate the beginning of the first-ever expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Panama Canal. The symbolic blast inaugurated the first construction project for expansion. (Photo Credit: The Panama Canal Authority)
Joining former US President Carter at the event were regional presidents, including Colombia's Alvaro Uribe, Honduras' Manuel Zelaya, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega and El Salvador's Elias Antonio Saca. Jose Miguel Inzulsa, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, also was among an estimated 40,000 people at the ceremony.
When complete, the expanded canal will accommodate ships capable of carrying 12,000 containers, up from a maximum 5,000 containers.
The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de PanamÃ¡) is a major ship canal that traverses the Isthmus of Panama in Central America, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Construction of the canal was one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km (6,000 miles), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 mi) route around Cape Horn.
Since opening, the canal has been enormously successful, and continues to be a key conduit for international shipping. Each year more than 14,000 ships pass through the canal, carrying more than 205 million tons of cargo.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. |GlobalGiants.com|