A crack has appeared in the New Panama Canal’s Cocoli Locks. The locks are located on the Pacific side.
Filling of the locks commenced on June 22. The filling process, expected to take 90 days, marks the start of compliance and operational testing for the canal expansion.
However, Twitter and maritime media reports indicate that the crack, in one of the sills of the lock, could impact the project’s schedule.
Experts from the construction contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) met on Saturday to evaluate the problem.
The filling process makes use of powerful electric and diesel pumps designed specifically for the job. The electric pumps provide 30,000 gallons of water per minute each, while an added network of 13 diesel pumps pump 7,000 gallons of water per minute each, filling the lower chamber at a rate of nine inches per hour.
The canal is currently scheduled for completion in April 2016.