Expanding Global Commerce, Building Water Infrastructure
The Panama Canal – which handles 5 percent of the worldwide shipping trade – recently completed a massive $5.2 billion expansion project that doubles its capacity and meets global commerce needs into the next century. The canal’s Third Set of Locks opened in June 2016, welcoming bigger ships that can carry three times as many cargo containers through this historic short-cut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. MWH, now part of Stantec, led the technical design for the Third Set of Locks – the largest portion of the canal’s expansion project. MWH engineers and experts worldwide collaborated to create sustainable water infrastructure designs – many never before achieved on a project of this scope or scale. In this Economics of Water report, MWH leaders discuss the Panama Canal’s technical design features and performance, as well as what the expansion means for other global ports and waterways.