Gaillard Cut


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Gaillard Cut

the SE section of the Panama Canal, cut through Culebra Mountain. Length: about 13 km (8 miles)
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PANAMA: Panama's Canal Authority has finished work on widening the waterway by 40 yards at its narrowest point, the Gaillard Cut. The changes will allow two ships to pass simultaneously through the waterway, and boost its traffic potential by 20 per cent, but the canal is already too narrow for some of the world's largest vessels.
Ongoing improvements include the widening of the Gaillard Cut. The scheme will enable two-way passage of wide vessels and should be complete by 2002.
Far below, a huge freighter glides slowly through the jungle as it negotiates the Gaillard Cut, a sinuous nine-mile-long channel carved through the mountains of the Continental Divide.
Possible solutions to the canal crunch, said Bastian, range from building a third set of locks to accommodate bigger ships, widening the eight-mile-long Gaillard Cut near the Pacific end of the canal, and building a new sea-level waterway between the Caribbean and the Pacific which would entirely bypass the existing Panama Canal.
The authority attributed the reduction, in part, to a modernization program which has recently widened the Gaillard Cut, increased the Canal's locomotive fleet from 80 to 100 units, and acquired more powerful and maneuverable tugs.
equipment and supplies, as well as the current widening of the Gaillard Cut, the Canal is contemplating enormous investments in the future.