Uncertainty Surrounds Panama Canal Expansion Delivery Timeline

Photo dated August 25, 2015 showing water leaking through cracks in the concrete of the new Cocoli Locks complex, located on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal.
Photo dated August 25, 2015 showing water leaking through cracks in the concrete of the new Cocoli Locks complex, located on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal.

The main contractor for the design and construction of the Third Set of Locks project for the expanded Panama Canal says that work to reinforce the sills in the new locks will be completed in January 2016, but it is still unclear if the work will delay the delivery of the project past April 2016.

The contractor, Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC) informed the Panama Canal Authority of the deadline during a meeting recently to discuss the progress being made on the repairs and reinforcements work after cracks appeared in one of the sills of the Cocoli Locks complex in August.

As part of its remaining work, GUPC says it will continue conducting in-depth inspections and reinforcements of each individual sill. Afterward, GUPC plans to continue the electromechanical testing on the filling and emptying systems of the new locks.

The ACP says it was also informed by GUPC that they have not yet identified a date for the completion of the new locks project. However, GUPC announced that they will implement a strategy, along with their providers and subcontractors, that will help reduce the impact on the delivery date.

Delivery of the Panama Canal Expansion project is currently scheduled for April 2016 and is now 95 percent complete, according to the ACP.