Posted May 19th, 2012, 10:52 AM
I'm busy reading all the books I can get my hands on so I understand the history and engineering. Otherwise, I'm afraid I won't absorb or understand most of it.
Keep the good stuff coming! I'll be lurking somewhere.....
Let's hope this will be "good" stuff as it is still pretty slow around here. Don't be afraid if you don't absorb it all the first time..... that's a good excuse to make another trip through the Canal
Fellow Cruise Critic dmwnc1959 did the honors of this webcam grab the other day of the Celebrity ship (Millennium, if I recall) exiting Pedro Miguel Locks heading south to Miraflores Locks and the Pacific. I took the liberty and notated the various items we are seeing in this picture. Brief description follows. Hopefully this does not cloud or muddy the waters too much!
Pacific Access Channel
; This will connect the new locks being constructed a little south and west of Miraflores Locks. The PAC will connect the new locks with Gaillard Cut at a point in between the new Centennial Bridge and Pedro Miguel Locks. Gaillard Cut actually is an arm of Gatun Lake. The normal elevation for the Lake is 85' above sea level, the expansion plans do call for the Lake to be held at a slightly higher level to accommodate the increased draft on Post Panamax ships.
; This will be a clay core dam actually built in four distinct sections to contain the waters of the PAC and ultimately Gaillard Cut and Gatun Lake. The reason for this dam is to provide a channel that is Gatun Lake level (85' above sea level) to the new locks. The new locks will lift the ship up to Gatun Lake level all at the same lock instead of two locks (Miraflores and Pedro Miguel) used in the present system.
; This is the smaller of the two artificial lakes on the Canal, the other being Gatun Lake. Miraflores Lake is 54' above sea level. The top of the Borinquen Dam will be somewhere near 100' above sea level, basically the same elevation of the top of the lock walls at Pedro Miguel Locks.
The New Locks
; One lane with 3 steps and water saving basins. This will allow the new locks even though quite a bit larger, to use less water than the present locks. The new locks are being constructed on the original footprint of the additional locks that was started a couple of years before WW2 broke out. There will be an identical set of locks built on the Atlantic side just east of the present Gatun Locks. The new Atlantic Locks will not require extensive approach channels as the new Pacific Locks does.
"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