Expanding the Panama Canal

In 2006, Panamanians approved a referendum to expand the Panama Canal, doubling its capacity and allowing far larger ships to transit the 100-year-old waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific. Work began in 2007 to raise the capacity of Gatun Lake and build two new sets of locks, which would accommodate ships carrying up to 14,000 containers of freight, tripling the size limit. Sixteen massive steel gates, weighing an average of 3,100 tons each, were built in Italy and shipped to Panama to be installed in the new locks. Eight years and $5.2 billion later, the expansion project is nearing completion. The initial stages of flooding the canals have begun and the projected opening date has been set for April of 2016.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • John Minchillo / AP

    Photos of the Week: Turkey Pardon, Deer Hoof, Seattle Owl

    A foggy sunrise in Germany, a fiery protest in Guatemala, a strongman contest in Crimea, the ongoing pandemic worldwide, mourning in Argentina for Diego Maradona, and much more

  • Gary Hershorn / Getty

    Autumn Colors and Autumn Chill

    One last look at the colorful beauty of this autumn, seen in cities and countryside vistas across the Northern Hemisphere

  • Camino Coach / Shutterstock

    Kansas: Images of the Sunflower State

    A few glimpses of the landscape of Kansas, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Sergei Grits / AP

    Photos of the Week: Tiger Check, Spanish Fog, Duck Shields

    The Bailong Elevator in China, continued wildfires in California, a surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Christmas preparations during a pandemic, a rocket launch to the ISS, and much more