Panama Canal expansion inaugurated

1,057Views 9Comments Posted 26/06/2016

NINE YEARS  of work, with many hiccups and cost overruns on the way  ended with a $4 million extravaganza to mark the opening of the multi-billion dollar Panama Canal expansion on Sunday June 26.

Canal cocoliCocoli_LPRVID20160626_0006_36The renamed  Chinese vessel Cosco Shipping Panama made  the inaugural transi of the third set of locks, starting at the Atlantic  end Agua Clara and ending at Cocoli over eight hours later,

The event  was witnessed by over 20,000  and described by Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano, as "the greatest work that has been done in a century on our soil".

canal 2The Canal Administrator recognized the work of the 40,000 workers who participated in the work, 90% of whom were Panamanians , and made a special mention of the eight  who died during the work. A one minute silence was held to honor themduring the opening ceremony.

Finished his speech, Quijano picked her up to a girl and together triggered the lever that would open the floodgates for the Cosco Shipping crossed Panama -the lower house closest to the Atlantic-Ocean to the middle chamber.

President Juan Carlos Varela, accompanied by his  Cabinet stressed the historical value of Colon  in the Canal route. "This was where it all started. Here began the Chagres route, the Camino de Cruces, then the interoceanic railway, the 1914 Canal and and now the expansion. More than 160 ships have made reservations to follow  the first  vessel which paid  $586,000 toll paid by the ship of the Chinese shipping company.
the first booking  of a ship  carrying liquefied natural gas has also been finalized, a new segment of vessels that can transit the canal  thanks to the  enlargement.

The opening ceremony was attended by 62 international delegations. While over 20,000 citizens attended the event to celebrate. Other groups gathered on Avenida Balboa to protest the extravaganza while areas of the country were without water, school  were in disrepair, and the health service in tatters.