Posted August 26th, 2013, 09:38 PM
I can provide some info for you, Azulann..... Gatun Lake has a nominal elevation above sea level of 85'. Right now the highest elevation the lake reaches is close to 87.2, optimally they try to achieve this elevation just before the Dry Season (late December), the lowest I have ever seen the lake is 77' above sea level. During that period there were rather significant draft restrictions, which of course hinders shipping. When everything is said and done the new elevation will be right at 89'. Not only will this provide additional depth in Gatun Lake, but will provide additional storage capacity. An added benefit that will work in conjunction with the water saving basins at the new locks, they actually will use less water per lockage than the present locks.
As far as where the spoils are deposited, if it is a suction dredge it is most likely to be deposited via pipeline out side of the Canal proper. On the other hand if the spoils are removed by a dipper dredge, the spoils are more than likely to be deposited in another part of the Gatun Lake. I am going to include this picture not only because it is really neat with the old sailing ship traversing the Canal of today, but the island in the background is called Dump Inspector's Island. Starting North of Gamboa, the majority of sloughs on the West side of the main channel are called dumps. The primary purpose of the dumps was to be a repository for dredging spoils. The Dump Inspector lived on that island in really neat house which remained there until the 1970s (there was no dump inspector, but the structure remained). The "Dump" in which the island is located just happens to be Dump 12. The reason I know this is because I used to have a recreational land lease in that dump. Some great times!
"If the phone doesn't ring, it's me!"
"Is it ignorance or is it apathy? ... I don't know and I don't care!"
S.S. Badger R/T from Manitowoc June 02