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

  • Ferdi Awed / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Pug Mugshot, Umbrella Sky, Helsinki Summit

    Splashing in New York City, deadly protests in Nicaragua, a reunited migrant family in Texas, tornado damage in Iowa, mammoth transport in Austria, and much more.

  • HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock

    A Photo Trip to China’s Qiandongnan Prefecture

    In south central China’s Guizhou province sits Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, home to nearly four million people, beautiful scenery, and colorful festivals.

  • Marco Longari / AFP / Getty

    Afriski: Lesotho's Only Ski Resort

    High in the Mountains of Lesotho, sits Afriski, one of only two ski resorts in southern Africa.

  • Ilya Naymushin / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Atomic Art, Moon Pool, Giant Iceberg

    The Royal Air Force celebrates its centennial in London, World Cup emotions run high, the Running of the Bulls begins in Spain, Tour de France riders pass through stage six, and much more.