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The Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
(Spanish: Canal
Canal
de Panamá) is an artificial 77 km (48 mi) waterway in Panama
Panama
that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama
Panama
and is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal
Canal
locks are at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 m (85 ft) above sea level, and then lower the ships at the other end. The original locks are 34 m (110 ft) wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, post- Panamax
Panamax
ships, capable of handling more cargo.[1] France
France
began work on the canal in 1881, but stopped due to engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate. The United States
United States
took over the project in 1904 and opened the canal on August 15, 1914. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
shortcut greatly reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous Cape Horn
Cape Horn
route around the southernmost tip of South America
South America
via the Drake Passage
Drake Passage
or Strait of Magellan. Colombia, France, and later the United States
United States
controlled the territory surrounding the canal during construction. The U.S. continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Zone until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties
Torrijos–Carter Treaties
provided for handover to Panama. After a period of joint American–Panamanian control, in 1999, the canal was taken over by the Panamanian government and is now managed and operated by the government-owned Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Authority. Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in 1914, when the canal opened, to 14,702 vessels in 2008, for a total of 333.7 million Panama
Panama
Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons. By 2012, more than 815,000 vessels had passed through the canal.[2] It takes 11.38 hours to pass through the Panama
Panama
Canal[3]. The American Society of Civil Engineers has called the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
one of the seven wonders of the modern world.[4]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early proposals in Panama 1.2 French construction attempts, 1881–1894 1.3 United States
United States
acquisition 1.4 United States
United States
construction of the Panama
Panama
canal, 1904–1914 1.5 West Indian labor migration to Panama
Panama
(1850–1914) 1.6 George Washington Goethals
George Washington Goethals
replaces John Frank Stevens
John Frank Stevens
as chief engineer 1.7 Later developments

2 Canal

2.1 Layout 2.2 Navigation 2.3 Gatun Lake 2.4 Lock size 2.5 Tolls

3 Issues leading to expansion

3.1 Efficiency and maintenance 3.2 Capacity 3.3 Competition 3.4 Water issues

4 Third set of locks project (expansion)

4.1 Rival Colombia
Colombia
rail link 4.2 Rival Nicaragua canal 4.3 Other projects

5 Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Honorary Pilots 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading

8.1 Construction
Construction
and technical issues 8.2 Diplomatic and political history

9 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of the Panama
Panama
Canal

Satellite image showing location of Panama
Panama
Canal: Dense jungles are visible in green.

Early proposals in Panama[edit] The earliest mention of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama
Panama
dates back to 1534, when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
and King of Spain, ordered a survey for a route through the Americas that would ease the voyage for ships traveling between Spain and Peru. Such a route would have given the Spanish a military advantage over the Portuguese.[5] In 1668, the English physician and philosopher Sir Thomas Browne speculated in his encyclopaedic endeavour Pseudodoxia Epidemica
Pseudodoxia Epidemica
- "some Isthmus have been eat through by the Sea, and others cut by the spade: And if policy would permit, that of Panama
Panama
in America were most worthy the attempt: it being but few miles over, and would open a shorter cut unto the East Indies and China".[6] In 1788, Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
suggested that the Spanish should create it since it would be a less treacherous route than going around the southern tip of South America, which tropical ocean currents would naturally widen thereafter.[7] During an expedition from 1788 to 1793, Alessandro Malaspina
Alessandro Malaspina
outlined plans for its construction.[8] Given the strategic location of Panama
Panama
and the potential offered by its narrow isthmus separating two great oceans, other trade links in the area were attempted over the years. The ill-fated Darien scheme was launched by the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
in 1698 to set up an overland trade route. Generally inhospitable conditions thwarted the effort and it was abandoned in April 1700.[9] The late 18th and early 19th centuries had a number of canals built. The success of the Erie Canal
Canal
in the United States
United States
and the collapse of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
in Latin America led to a surge of American interest in building an interoceanic canal. Beginning in 1826, US officials began negotiations with Gran Colombia
Colombia
(present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama), hoping to gain a concession for the building of a canal. Jealous of their newly obtained independence and fearing that they would be dominated by an American presence, the president Simon Bolivar
Simon Bolivar
and new granadans officials declined American offers. The new nation was politically unstable, and Panama
Panama
rebelled several times during the 19th century. Another effort was made in 1843. According to the New York Daily Tribune, August 24, 1843, a contract was entered into by Barings of London and the Republic of New Granada
Republic of New Granada
for the construction of a canal across the Isthmus of Darien
Isthmus of Darien
(Isthmus of Panama). They referred to it as the Atlantic and Pacific Canal
Canal
and it was a wholly British endeavor. It was expected to be completed in five years, but the plan was never carried out. At nearly the same time, other ideas were floated, including a canal (and/or a railroad) across Mexico's Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Nothing came of that plan either.[10] In 1846, the Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty, negotiated between the U.S. and New Granada, granted the United States
United States
transit rights and the right to intervene militarily in the isthmus. In 1849, the discovery of gold in California created great interest in a crossing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Panama
Panama
Railway was built by the United States
United States
to cross the isthmus and opened in 1855. This overland link became a vital piece of Western Hemisphere infrastructure, greatly facilitating trade and largely determining the later canal route. An all-water route between the oceans was still seen as the ideal solution, and in 1855 William Kennish, a Manx-born engineer working for the United States
United States
government, surveyed the isthmus and issued a report on a route for a proposed Panama
Panama
Canal.[11] His report was published as a book entitled The Practicability and Importance of a Ship
Ship
Canal
Canal
to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.[12] In 1877, Armand Reclus, an officer with the French Navy, and Lucien Napoléon Bonaparte Wyse, both engineers, surveyed the route and published a French proposal for a canal.[13] French success in building the Suez Canal, while a lengthy project, encouraged planning for one to cross the isthmus.[14] French construction attempts, 1881–1894[edit]

Ferdinand de Lesseps

Excavator at work, in Bas Obispo, 1886

The first attempt to construct a canal through what was then Colombia's province of Panama
Panama
began on January 1, 1881. The project was inspired by the diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps, who was able to raise considerable finance in France
France
as a result of the huge profits generated by his successful construction of the Suez Canal.[15] Although the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
would eventually have to be only 40% as long as the Suez Canal, the former would prove to be far more of an engineering challenge, due to the tropical rain forests, the climate, the need for canal locks, and the lack of any ancient route to follow. De Lesseps wanted a sea-level canal as at Suez, but only visited the site a few times, during the dry season which lasts only four months of the year.[16] His men were totally unprepared for the rainy season, during which the Chagres River, where the canal started, became a raging torrent, rising up to 10 m (35 ft). The dense jungle was alive with venomous snakes, insects, and spiders, but the worst aspect was the yellow fever and malaria (and other tropical diseases) which killed thousands of workers; by 1884, the death rate was over 200 per month.[17] Public health measures were ineffective because the role of the mosquito as a disease vector was then unknown. Conditions were downplayed in France
France
to avoid recruitment problems,[18] but the high mortality rate made it difficult to maintain an experienced workforce. Workers had to continually widen the main cut through the mountain at Culebra and reduce the angles of the slopes to minimize landslides into the canal.[19] Steam shovels were used in the construction of the canal, and they were purchased from Bay City Industrial Works, a business owned by William L. Clements
William L. Clements
in Bay City, Michigan.[20] Other mechanical and electrical equipment was limited in its capabilities, and steel equipment rusted rapidly in the climate.[21] In France, de Lesseps kept the investment and supply of workers flowing long after it was obvious that the targets were not being met, but eventually the money ran out. The French effort went bankrupt in 1889 after reportedly spending US$287,000,000 and losing an estimated 22,000 lives to disease and accidents, wiping out the savings of 800,000 investors.[18][22] Work was suspended on May 15, and in the ensuing scandal, known as the Panama
Panama
affair, various of those deemed responsible were prosecuted, including Gustave Eiffel.[23] De Lesseps and his son Charles were found guilty of misappropriation of funds and sentenced to five years' imprisonment, though this was later overturned, and the father, at 88, was never imprisoned.[18] In 1894, a second French company, the Compagnie Nouvelle du Canal
Canal
de Panama, was created to take over the project. A minimal workforce of a few thousand people was employed primarily to comply with the terms of the Colombian Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
concession, to run the Panama
Panama
Railroad, and to maintain the existing excavation and equipment in salable condition. The company sought a buyer for these assets, with an asking price of US$109,000,000. In the meantime, they continued with enough activity to maintain their franchise. Phillipe Bunau-Varilla, the French manager of the New Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Company, eventually managed to persuade de Lesseps that a lock-and-lake canal was more realistic than a sea-level canal.[24] United States
United States
acquisition[edit]

The U.S.'s intentions to influence the area (especially the Panama Canal
Canal
construction and control) led to the separation of Panama
Panama
from Colombia
Colombia
in 1903.

The Culebra Cut, or Gaillard Cut, in 1896

The Culebra Cut
Culebra Cut
in 1902

At this time, the President and the Senate of the United States
United States
were interested in establishing a canal across the isthmus, with some favoring a canal across Nicaragua and others advocating the purchase of the French interests in Panama. Bunau-Varilla, who was seeking American involvement, asked for $100 million, but accepted $40 million in the face of the Nicaraguan option. In June 1902, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of pursuing the Panamanian option, provided the necessary rights could be obtained, in the Spooner Act.[25] On January 22, 1903, the Hay–Herrán Treaty
Hay–Herrán Treaty
was signed by United States Secretary of State John M. Hay
John M. Hay
and Colombian Chargé Dr. Tomás Herrán. For $10 million and an annual payment, it would have granted the United States
United States
a renewable lease in perpetuity from Colombia
Colombia
on the land proposed for the canal.[26] The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate on March 14, 1903, but the Senate of Colombia
Colombia
did not ratify it. Bunau-Varilla told President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
and Hay of a possible revolt by Panamanian rebels who aimed to separate from Colombia, and hoped that the United States
United States
would support the rebels with U.S. troops and money. Roosevelt changed tactics, based in part on the Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty of 1846, and actively supported the separation of Panama
Panama
from Colombia
Colombia
and, shortly after recognizing Panama, signed a treaty with the new Panamanian government under similar terms to the Hay–Herrán Treaty.[27] On November 2, 1903, U.S. warships blocked sea lanes for possible Colombian troop movements en route to put down the rebellion. Panama declared independence on November 3, 1903. The United States
United States
quickly recognized the new nation.[28] On November 6, 1903, Philippe Bunau-Varilla, as Panama's ambassador to the United States, signed the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty, granting rights to the United States
United States
to build and indefinitely administer the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Zone and its defenses. This is sometimes misinterpreted as the "99-year lease" because of misleading wording included in article 22 of the agreement.[29] Almost immediately, the treaty was condemned by many Panamanians
Panamanians
as an infringement on their country's new national sovereignty.[30][31] This would later become a contentious diplomatic issue among Colombia, Panama, and the United States. President Roosevelt famously stated, "I took the Isthmus, started the canal and then left Congress not to debate the canal, but to debate me." Several parties in the United States
United States
called this an act of war on Colombia: The New York Times called the support given by the United States to Bunau-Varilla an "act of sordid conquest." The New York Evening Post called it a "vulgar and mercenary venture." It is often cited as the classic example of U.S. gunboat diplomacy in Latin America, and the best illustration of what Roosevelt meant by the old African adage, "Speak softly and carry a big stick [and] you will go far." After the revolution in 1903, the Republic of Panama
Panama
became a U.S. protectorate until 1939.[32] Thus in 1904, the United States
United States
purchased the French equipment and excavations, including the Panama
Panama
Railroad, for US$40 million, of which $30 million related to excavations completed, primarily in the Gaillard Cut
Gaillard Cut
(then called the Culebra Cut), valued at about $1.00 per cubic yard.[33] The United States
United States
also paid the new country of Panama $10 million and a $250,000 payment each following year. In 1921, Colombia
Colombia
and the United States
United States
entered into the Thomson-Urrutia Treaty, in which the United States
United States
agreed to pay Colombia
Colombia
$25 million: $5 million upon ratification, and four-$5 million annual payments, and grant Colombia
Colombia
special privileges in the Canal
Canal
Zone. In return, Colombia
Colombia
recognized Panama
Panama
as an independent nation. United States
United States
construction of the Panama
Panama
canal, 1904–1914[edit]

Construction
Construction
of locks on the Panama
Panama
Canal, 1913

The U.S. formally took control of the canal property on May 4, 1904, inheriting from the French a depleted workforce and a vast jumble of buildings, infrastructure, and equipment, much of it in poor condition. A U.S. government commission, the Isthmian Canal
Canal
Commission (ICC), was established to oversee construction[34] and was given control of the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Zone, over which the United States exercised sovereignty. The commission reported directly to Secretary of War William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
and was directed to avoid the inefficiency and corruption that had plagued the French 15 years earlier.

John Frank Stevens

On May 6, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
appointed John Findley Wallace, formerly chief engineer and finally general manager of the Illinois Central Railroad, as chief engineer of the Panama
Panama
Canal Project. Overwhelmed by the disease-plagued country and forced to use often dilapidated French infrastructure and equipment,[35] as well as being frustrated by the overly bureaucratic ICC, Wallace resigned abruptly in June 1905.[36] He was succeeded by John Frank Stevens, a self-educated engineer who had built the Great Northern Railroad.[37] Stevens was not a member of the ICC; he increasingly viewed its bureaucracy as a serious hindrance, bypassing the commission and sending requests and demands directly to the Roosevelt administration in Washington, DC. One of Stevens' first achievements in Panama
Panama
was in building and rebuilding the housing, cafeterias, hotels, water systems, repair shops, warehouses, and other infrastructure needed by the thousands of incoming workers. Stevens began the recruitment effort to entice thousands of workers from the United States
United States
and other areas to come to the Canal
Canal
Zone to work, and tried to provide accommodation in which the incoming workers could work and live in reasonable safety and comfort. He also re-established and enlarged the railway that was to prove crucial in transporting millions of tons of soil from the cut through the mountains to the dam across the Chagres River.

William C. Gorgas

Colonel William C. Gorgas
William C. Gorgas
had been appointed chief sanitation officer of the canal construction project in 1904. Gorgas implemented a range of measures to minimize the spread of deadly diseases, particularly yellow fever and malaria, which had recently been shown to be mosquito-borne following the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay
Carlos Finlay
and Dr. Walter Reed.[38] Investment was made in extensive sanitation projects, including city water systems, fumigation of buildings, spraying of insect-breeding areas with oil and larvicide, installation of mosquito netting and window screens, and elimination of stagnant water. Despite opposition from the commission (one member said his ideas were barmy), Gorgas persisted, and when Stevens arrived, he threw his weight behind the project. After two years of extensive work, the mosquito-spread diseases were nearly eliminated.[39] Nevertheless, even with all this effort, about 5,600 workers died of disease and accidents during the U.S. construction phase of the canal.

President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
sitting on a steam shovel at Culebra Cut, 1906

Construction
Construction
work on the Gaillard Cut
Gaillard Cut
is shown in this photograph from 1907.

In 1905, a U.S. engineering panel was commissioned to review the canal design, which still had not been finalized. It recommended to President Roosevelt a sea-level canal, as had been attempted by the French. However, in 1906 Stevens, who had seen the Chagres in full flood, was summoned to Washington and declared a sea-level approach to be "an entirely untenable proposition". He argued in favor of a canal using a lock system to raise and lower ships from a large reservoir 85 ft (26 m) above sea level. This would create both the largest dam (Gatun Dam) and the largest man-made lake (Gatun Lake) in the world at that time. The water to refill the locks would be taken from Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
by opening and closing enormous gates and valves and letting gravity propel the water from the lake. Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
would connect to the Pacific through the mountains at the Gaillard (Culebra) Cut. Stevens successfully convinced Roosevelt of the necessity and feasibility of the alternative scheme.[40] The construction of a canal with locks required the excavation of more than 170,000,000 cu yd (130,000,000 m3) of material over and above the 30,000,000 cu yd (23,000,000 m3) excavated by the French. As quickly as possible, the Americans replaced or upgraded the old, unusable French equipment with new construction equipment that was designed for a much larger and faster scale of work. About 102 new large, railroad-mounted steam shovels were purchased from the Marion Power Shovel Company
Marion Power Shovel Company
and brought from the United States. These were joined by enormous steam-powered cranes, giant hydraulic rock crushers, concrete mixers, dredges, and pneumatic power drills, nearly all of which were manufactured by new, extensive machine-building technology developed and built in the United States. The railroad also had to be comprehensively upgraded with heavy-duty, double-tracked rails over most of the line to accommodate new rolling stock. In many places, the new Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
flooded over the original rail line, and a new line had to be constructed above Gatun Lake's waterline.

This before photograph of the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
was used as a guide in the construction of the Cape Cod Canal
Canal
by the U.S. Army's Office of the Chief Engineers.

This after photograph of the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
was used as a guide in the construction of the Cape Cod Canal
Canal
by the U.S. Army's Office of the Chief Engineers.

West Indian labor migration to Panama
Panama
(1850–1914)[edit]

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Emancipation in the British West Indies in 1838 freed over one-half million slaves, transforming the islands’ societies and economies. Most freedmen preferred not to do plantation work anymore, and the sugar industries gradually declined. The white colonial elites and mulatto middle classes managed to reconstruct the social hierarchy so that the blacks remained at the bottom. In such a precarious position, black freedmen had to take any jobs that appeared, including those abroad. Thus, the trans- Caribbean
Caribbean
migration phase of the diaspora began. The California gold rush
California gold rush
of 1849 rekindled interest in a modern transportation route across Central America
Central America
and spurred larger migrations of these freedmen. Two crossings were developed, Vanderbilt’s steamship and stage line in Nicaragua and the New York-based Panama
Panama
Railroad. Both enterprises used imported labor, largely Jamaican. Some 5,000 eventually worked on the Panama
Panama
railroad line. The projects proved that the West Indian blacks resisted tropical diseases better than other workers and they were available in large numbers due to the islands’ depressed economies. Caribbean
Caribbean
migration on a large scale would resume again in the 1880s as a result of two developments, the French canal project and the spread of banana cultivation. The French company employed over 50,000 West Indians (again mainly Jamaicans) during its unsuccessful bid to build the canal across the isthmus. Banana cultivation also proved a boon to the region’s economy after the 1880s, expanding commercial agriculture and inducing thousands more to migrate. By the early 20th century, the United Fruit Company operated a string of banana ports, including Puerto Limon (Costa Rica) and Bocas del Toro (Panama). During the construction of the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
by the Americans (1904-1914), the West Indian migrations to Panama
Panama
constituted a demographic tidal wave, the largest yet in Caribbean
Caribbean
history. Officially, canal authorities brought over 31,000 West Indian men and a few women, but in fact, contemporaries estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 men and women must have migrated during the decade 1904-1914. Most did not plan to stay in Panama. Eventually, though, tens of thousands remained on the isthmus because the islands offered few opportunities that could compete with the pay and benefits available in Panama. The West Indians settled, married, had children, and became the largest immigrant group in the sparsely populated country. The descendants of these immigrants are known today as Afro-Panamanians. George Washington Goethals
George Washington Goethals
replaces John Frank Stevens
John Frank Stevens
as chief engineer[edit]

General George Washington Goethals

In 1907, Stevens resigned as chief engineer.[41] His replacement, appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt, was U.S. Army Major George Washington Goethals of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(soon to be promoted to lieutenant colonel and later to general), a strong, United States Military Academy–trained leader and civil engineer with experience of canals (unlike Stevens). Goethals directed the work in Panama
Panama
to a successful conclusion in 1914, two years ahead of the target date of June 10, 1916.[42] Goethals divided the engineering and excavation work into three divisions: Atlantic, Central, and Pacific. The Atlantic Division, under Major William L. Sibert, was responsible for construction of the massive breakwater at the entrance to Limon Bay, the Gatun locks, and their 3½ mi (5.6 km) approach channel, and the immense Gatun Dam. The Pacific Division, under Sydney B. Williamson (the only civilian member of this high-level team), was similarly responsible for the Pacific 3 mi (4.8 km) breakwater in Panama
Panama
Bay, the approach channel to the locks, and the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel locks and their associated dams and reservoirs.[43]

Spanish laborers working on the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
in early 1900s

The Central Division, under Major David du Bose Gaillard
David du Bose Gaillard
of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, was assigned one of the most difficult parts: excavating the Culebra Cut
Culebra Cut
through the continental divide to connect Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
to the Pacific Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
locks.[44] On October 10, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
sent a signal from the White House
White House
by telegraph which triggered the explosion that destroyed the Gamboa Dike. This flooded the Culebra Cut, thereby joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.[45] Alexandre La Valley (a floating crane built by Lobnitz
Lobnitz
& Company, and launched in 1887) was the first self-propelled vessel to transit the canal from ocean to ocean. This vessel crossed the canal from the Atlantic in stages during construction, finally reaching the Pacific on January 7, 1914.[46] SS Cristobal (a cargo and passenger ship built by Maryland Steel, and launched in 1902 as SS Tremont) was the first ship to transit the canal from ocean to ocean on August 3, 1914.[47] The construction of the canal was completed in 1914, 401 years after Panama
Panama
was first crossed by Vasco Núñez de Balboa. The United States spent almost $500,000,000 (roughly equivalent to $9,169,650,000 now[48]) to finish the project. This was by far the largest American engineering project to date. The canal was formally opened on August 15, 1914, with the passage of the cargo ship SS Ancon.[49] The opening of Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
in 1914 caused a severe drop in traffic along Chilean ports due to shifts in the maritime trade routes.[50][51][52]

A Marion steam shovel excavating the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
in 1908

The Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
locks under construction in 1910

The first ship to transit the canal, the SS Ancon, passes through on 15 August 1914

Throughout this time, Ernest "Red" Hallen
Ernest "Red" Hallen
was hired by the Isthmian Canal
Canal
Commission to document the progress of the work. Later developments[edit] See also: § Third set of locks project (expansion)

USS Missouri passes through the canal in 1945. The Iowa-class battleships were designed to be narrow enough to fit through.

By the 1930s, water supply would be seen as an issue for the canal; this prompted the building of the Madden Dam
Madden Dam
across the Chagres River above Gatun Lake. Completed in 1935, the dam created Madden Lake (later Alajeula Lake) which provides additional water storage for the canal.[53] In 1939, construction began on a further major improvement: a new set of locks for the canal, large enough to carry the larger warships that the United States
United States
was building at the time and planned to continue building. The work proceeded for several years, and significant excavation was carried out on the new approach channels, but the project was cancelled after World War II.[54][55]

Statement on the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Treaty Signing

Jimmy Carter's speech upon signing the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
treaty, 7 September 1977

Problems playing this file? See media help.

After World War II, U.S. control of the canal and the Canal
Canal
Zone surrounding it became contentious; relations between Panama
Panama
and the United States
United States
became increasingly tense. Many Panamanians
Panamanians
felt that the Canal
Canal
Zone rightfully belonged to Panama; student protests were met by the fencing-in of the zone and an increased military presence there.[56] Demands for the United States
United States
to hand over the canal to Panama
Panama
increased after the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
in 1956, when the United States used financial and diplomatic pressure to force France
France
and the UK to abandon their attempt to retake control of the Suez Canal, previously nationalized by the Nasser
Nasser
regime in Egypt. Unrest culminated in riots on Martyr's Day, January 9, 1964, when about 20 Panamanians
Panamanians
and 3–5 U.S. soldiers were killed. A decade later, in 1974, negotiations toward a settlement began and resulted in the Torrijos–Carter Treaties. On September 7, 1977, the treaty was signed by President of the United States
United States
Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
and Omar Torrijos, de facto leader of Panama. This mobilized the process of granting the Panamanians
Panamanians
free control of the canal so long as Panama
Panama
signed a treaty guaranteeing the permanent neutrality of the canal. The treaty led to full Panamanian control effective at noon on December 31, 1999, and the Panama Canal Authority
Panama Canal Authority
(ACP) assumed command of the waterway. The Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
remains one of the chief revenue sources for Panama.[57][58] Before this handover, the government of Panama
Panama
held an international bid to negotiate a 25-year contract for operation of the container shipping ports located at the canal's Atlantic and Pacific outlets. The contract was not affiliated with the ACP or Panama
Panama
Canal operations and was won by the firm Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong–based shipping interest owned by Li Ka-shing.[citation needed] Canal[edit] Layout[edit]

[

v t e

]

Panama
Panama
Canal

Legend

km

mi

Atlantic Ocean ( Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea)

0

Atlantic Entrance, Manzanillo Bay Breakwater entrance

8.7

5.4

Port of Colón (Cristóbal)

8.7

5.4

Port of Colón (Cristóbal)

Colón, cruise terminal, MIT, Free Trade Zone, airport

Cristóbal harbor, Atlantic passenger station

Third Bridge or Atlantic bridge

1.9

1.2

Gatun Locks 3 chambers, +26 m (85 ft)

new Agua Clara Locks (3 chambers; water saving basins)

Gatun Dam, Chagres River
Chagres River
hydroelectricity (22.5 MW)[59], spillway

24.2

15.0

Gatun Lake

Gatún
Gatún
River, causeway, Monte Lirio bridge

8.5

5.3

Gamboa

Chagres River, Madden Dam, Alajuela Lake

with hydroelectricity (36 MW)[59]

12.6

7.8

Culebra Cut (Gaillard Cut)

Continental watershed, summit

Centennial Bridge (Pan-American Highway, via Panama
Panama
City)

1.4

0.9

Pedro Miguel Locks 1 chamber, +9.5 m (31 ft)

new Cocoli Locks (3 chambers; water saving basins)

1.7

1.1

Miraflores Lake

1.7

1.1

Miraflores Locks 2 chambers, +16.5 m (54 ft); spillway

13.2

8.2

Port of Balboa

13.2

8.2

Port of Balboa

Diablo, Corozal passenger station, Airport, Rail terminal

Balboa

 

total

Bridge of the Americas
Bridge of the Americas
(Arraiján– Panama
Panama
City)

77.1

47.9

Pacific Entrance

Pacific Ocean (Gulf of Panama)

Legend

Navigable canal (maximum draft: 39.5 feet (12.0 m))

Non-navigable water

Dock, industrial or logistical area

Water flow direction

Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Railway (passenger station, freight station)

City, village or town

While globally the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
is east of the isthmus and the Pacific is west, the general direction of the canal passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific is from northwest to southeast, because of a local anomaly in the shape of the isthmus at the point the canal occupies. The Bridge of the Americas
Bridge of the Americas
(Spanish: Puente de las Américas) at the Pacific side is about a third of a degree east of the Colón end on the Atlantic side.[60] Still, in formal nautical communications, the simplified directions "southbound" and "northbound" are used. The canal consists of artificial lakes, several improved and artificial channels, and three sets of locks. An additional artificial lake, Alajuela Lake
Alajuela Lake
(known during the American era as Madden Lake), acts as a reservoir for the canal. The layout of the canal as seen by a ship passing from the Atlantic to the Pacific is:[61]

From the formal marking line of the Atlantic Entrance, one enters Limón Bay (Bahía Limón), a large natural harbor. The entrance runs 5½ mi (8.4 km). It provides a deepwater port (Cristóbal), with facilities like multimodal cargo exchange (to and from train) and the Colón Free Trade Zone
Colón Free Trade Zone
(a free port). A 2 mi (3.2 km) channel forms the approach to the locks from the Atlantic side. The Gatun Locks, a three-stage flight of locks 1¼ mi (1.9 km) long, lifts ships to the Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
level, some 87 ft (27 m) above sea level. Gatun Lake, an artificial lake formed by the building of the Gatun Dam, carries vessels 15 mi (24 km) across the isthmus. It is the summit canal stretch, fed by the Gatun River and emptied by basic lock operations. From the lake, the Chagres River, a natural waterway enhanced by the damming of Gatun Lake, runs about 5¼ mi (8.5 km). Here the upper Chagres River
Chagres River
feeds the high level canal stretch. The Culebra Cut
Culebra Cut
slices 7¾ mi (12.4 km) through the mountain ridge, crosses the continental divide and passes under the Centennial Bridge. The single-stage Pedro Miguel Lock, which is ⅞ mi (1.4 km) long, is the first part of the descent with a lift of 31 ft (9.4 m). The artificial Miraflores Lake
Miraflores Lake
1⅛ mi (1.7 km) long, and 54 ft (16 m) above sea level. The two-stage Miraflores Locks
Miraflores Locks
is 1⅛ mi (1.7 km) long, with a total descent of 54 ft (16 m) at mid-tide. From the Miraflores Locks
Miraflores Locks
one reaches Balboa harbor, again with multimodal exchange provision (here the railway meets the shipping route again). Nearby is Panama
Panama
City. From this harbor an entrance/exit channel leads to the Pacific Ocean (Gulf of Panama), 8¼ mi (13.2 km) from the Miraflores Locks, passing under the Bridge of the Americas.

Thus, the total length of the canal is 50 miles. Navigation[edit]

Map this section's coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps

Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Pacific Side entrance

Point Coordinates (links to map & photo sources) Notes

Atlantic Entrance 9°23′15″N 79°55′07″W / 9.38743°N 79.91863°W / 9.38743; -79.91863 (Atlantic Entrance)

Gatún
Gatún
Locks 9°16′20″N 79°55′22″W / 9.27215°N 79.92266°W / 9.27215; -79.92266 ( Gatún
Gatún
Locks)

Trinidad Turn 9°12′36″N 79°55′27″W / 9.20996°N 79.92408°W / 9.20996; -79.92408 (Trinidad Turn) In "The Cut"

Bohío Turn 9°10′42″N 79°52′00″W / 9.17831°N 79.86667°W / 9.17831; -79.86667 (Bohío Turn) In "The Cut"

Orchid Turn 9°11′03″N 79°50′42″W / 9.18406°N 79.84513°W / 9.18406; -79.84513 (Orchid Turn) In "The Cut"

Frijoles Turn 9°09′33″N 79°48′49″W / 9.15904°N 79.81362°W / 9.15904; -79.81362 (Frijoles Turn) In "The Cut"

Barbacoa Turn 9°07′14″N 79°48′14″W / 9.12053°N 79.80395°W / 9.12053; -79.80395 (Barbacoa Turn) In "The Cut"

Mamei Turn 9°06′42″N 79°46′07″W / 9.11161°N 79.76856°W / 9.11161; -79.76856 (Mamei Turn) In "The Cut"

Gamboa Reach 9°07′04″N 79°43′21″W / 9.11774°N 79.72257°W / 9.11774; -79.72257 (Gamboa Reach)

Bas Obispo Reach 9°05′46″N 79°41′04″W / 9.09621°N 79.68446°W / 9.09621; -79.68446 (Bas Obispo Reach)

Las Cascadas Reach 9°04′36″N 79°40′30″W / 9.07675°N 79.67492°W / 9.07675; -79.67492 (Las Cascadas Reach)

Empire Reach 9°03′40″N 79°39′47″W / 9.06104°N 79.66309°W / 9.06104; -79.66309 (Empire Reach)

Culebra Reach 9°02′51″N 79°39′01″W / 9.04745°N 79.65017°W / 9.04745; -79.65017 (Culebra Reach)

Cucaracha Reach 9°02′01″N 79°38′14″W / 9.03371°N 79.63736°W / 9.03371; -79.63736 (Cucaracha Reach)

Paraiso Reach 9°01′33″N 79°37′30″W / 9.02573°N 79.62492°W / 9.02573; -79.62492 (Paraiso Reach)

Pedro Miguel Locks 9°01′01″N 79°36′46″W / 9.01698°N 79.61281°W / 9.01698; -79.61281 (Pedro Miguel Locks)

Miraflores Lake 9°00′27″N 79°36′09″W / 9.00741°N 79.60254°W / 9.00741; -79.60254 (Miraflores Lake)

Miraflores Locks 8°59′48″N 79°35′31″W / 8.99679°N 79.59182°W / 8.99679; -79.59182 (Miraflores Locks)

Balboa Reach 8°58′22″N 79°34′40″W / 8.97281°N 79.57771°W / 8.97281; -79.57771 (Balboa Reach)

Pacific Entrance 8°53′18″N 79°31′17″W / 8.88846°N 79.52145°W / 8.88846; -79.52145 (Pacific Entrance)

Gatun Lake[edit] Artificially created in 1913 by damming the Chagres River, Gatun Lake is an essential part of the Panama
Panama
Canal, providing the millions of gallons of water necessary to operate the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
locks each time a ship passes through. At the time it was formed, Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
was the largest human-made lake in the world. The impassable rainforest around the lake has been the best defense of the Panama
Panama
Canal. Today these areas remain practically unscathed by human interference and are one of the few accessible areas where various native Central American animal and plant species can be observed undisturbed in their natural habitat. The largest island on Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
is Barro Colorado Island. It was established for scientific study when the lake was formed, and is operated by the Smithsonian Institution. Many important scientific and biological discoveries of the tropical animal and plant kingdom originated here. Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
covers about 470 square kilometres (180 sq mi), a vast tropical ecological zone and part of the Atlantic Forest Corridor. Ecotourism on the lake has become an industry for Panamanians. Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
also provides drinking water for Panama
Panama
City and Colón. Fishing is one of the primary recreational pursuits on Gatun Lake. Non-native peacock bass were introduced by accident to Gatun Lake around 1967[62] by a local businessman,[63] and have since flourished to become the dominant angling game fish in Gatun Lake. Locally called Sargento and believed to be the species Cichla pleiozona,[64] these peacock bass originate from the Amazon, Rio Negro, and Orinoco river basins, where they are considered a premier game fish. Lock size[edit] Main article: Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
locks

Miter lock gate at Gatún

Lock gate at Miraflores

The size of the locks determines the maximum size ship that can pass through. Because of the importance of the canal to international trade, many ships are built to the maximum size allowed. These are known as Panamax
Panamax
vessels. A Panamax
Panamax
cargo ship typically has a deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 65,000–80,000 tonnes, but its actual cargo is restricted to about 52,500 tonnes because of the 12.6 m (41.2 ft) draft restrictions within the canal.[65] The longest ship ever to transit the canal was the San Juan Prospector (now Marcona Prospector), an ore-bulk-oil carrier that is 296.57 m (973 ft) long with a beam of 32.31 m (106 ft).[66] Initially the locks at Gatun were designed to be 28.5 m (94 ft) wide. In 1908, the United States
United States
Navy requested that an increased width of at least 36 m (118 ft) to allow the passage of U.S. Naval ships. Eventually a compromise was made and the locks were built 33.53 m (110.0 ft) wide. Each lock is 320 m (1,050 ft) long, with the walls ranging in thickness from 15 m (49 ft) at the base to 3 m (9.8 ft) at the top. The central wall between the parallel locks at Gatun is 18 m (59 ft) thick and over 24 m (79 ft) high. The steel lock gates measure an average of 2 m (6.6 ft) thick, 19.5 m (64 ft) wide, and 20 m (66 ft) high.[67] It is the size of the locks, specifically the Pedro Miguel Locks, along with the height of the Bridge of the Americas
Bridge of the Americas
at Balboa, that determine the Panamax
Panamax
metric and limit the size of ships that may use the canal.

The 2006 third set of locks project has created larger locks, allowing bigger ships to transit through deeper and wider channels. The allowed dimensions of ships using these locks increased by 25% in length, 51% in beam, and 26% in draft, as defined by New Panamax
Panamax
metrics.[68] Tolls[edit]

Roll-on/roll-off
Roll-on/roll-off
ships, such as this one pictured here at Miraflores locks, are among the largest ships to pass through the canal.

Tolls for the canal are set by the Panama Canal Authority
Panama Canal Authority
and are based on vessel type, size, and the type of cargo.[69] For container ships, the toll is assessed on the ship's capacity expressed in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), one TEU being the size of a standard intermodal shipping container. Effective April 1, 2016, this toll went from US$74 per loaded container to $60 per TEU capacity plus $30 per loaded container for a potential $90 per TEU when the ship is full. A Panamax
Panamax
container ship may carry up to 4,400 TEU. The toll is calculated differently for passenger ships and for container ships carrying no cargo ("in ballast"). As of April 1, 2016[update], the ballast rate is US$60, down from US$65.60 per TEU. Passenger vessels in excess of 30,000 tons (PC/UMS), known popularly as cruise ships, pay a rate based on the number of berths, that is, the number of passengers that can be accommodated in permanent beds. The per-berth charge since April 1, 2016 is $111 for unoccupied berths and $138 for occupied berths in the Panamax
Panamax
locks. Started in 2007, this fee has greatly increased the tolls for such ships.[70] Passenger vessels of less than 30,000 tons or less than 33 tons per passenger are charged according to the same per-ton schedule as are freighters. Almost all major cruise ships have more than 33 tons per passenger; the rule of thumb for cruise line comfort is generally given as a minimum of 40 tons per passenger. Most other types of vessel pay a toll per PC/UMS net ton, in which one "ton" is actually a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). (The calculation of tonnage for commercial vessels is quite complex.) As of fiscal year 2016[update], this toll is US$5.25 per ton for the first 10,000 tons, US$5.14 per ton for the next 10,000 tons, and US$5.06 per ton thereafter. As with container ships, reduced tolls are charged for freight ships "in ballast", $4.19, $4.12, $4.05 respectively. On 1 April 2016, a more complicated toll system was introduced, having the neopanamax locks at a higher rate in some cases, natural gas transport as a new separate category and other changes.[71] As of October 1, 2017, there are modified tolls and categories of tolls in effect.[72] Small (less than 125 ft) vessels up to 583 PC/UMS net tons when carrying passengers or cargo, or up to 735 PC/UMS net tons when in ballast, or up to 1,048 fully loaded displacement tons, are assessed minimum tolls based upon their length overall, according to the following table (as of 29 April 2015):

Length of vessel Toll

Up to 15.240 meters (50 ft) US$800

More than 15.240 meters (50 ft) up to 24.384 meters (80 ft) US$1,300

More than 24.384 meters (80 ft) up to 30.480 meters (100 ft) US$2,000

More than 30.480 meters (100 ft) US$3,200

INTRA MARITIME CLUSTER - Local Tourism More than 24.384 meters (80 ft) US$2,000 plus $72/TEU

Morgan Adams of Los Angeles, California, holds the distinction of paying the first toll received by the United States
United States
Government for the use of the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
by a pleasure boat. His boat Lasata passed through the Zone on August 14, 1914. The crossing occurred during a 6,000-mile sea voyage from Jacksonville, Florida, to Los Angeles in 1914. The most expensive regular toll for canal passage to date was charged on April 14, 2010 to the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl, which paid US$375,600.[73][74] The average toll is around US$54,000. The highest fee for priority passage charged through the Transit Slot Auction System was US$220,300, paid on August 24, 2006, by the Panamax
Panamax
tanker Erikoussa,[75] bypassing a 90-ship queue waiting for the end of maintenance work on the Gatun Locks, and thus avoiding a seven-day delay. The normal fee would have been just US$13,430.[76] The lowest toll ever paid was 36 cents (equivalent to $5.13 in 2017), by American Richard Halliburton
Richard Halliburton
who swam the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
in 1928.[77] Issues leading to expansion[edit]

Panorama of Pacific entrance of the canal. Left: Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and Puente de las Americas (Bridge of Pan-American Highway); far right: Miraflores locks.

In the 100+ years since its opening, the canal continues to enjoy great success. Even though world shipping—and the size of ships themselves—has changed markedly since the canal was designed, it continues to be a vital link in world trade, carrying more cargo than ever before, with fewer overhead costs.[citation needed] Nevertheless, the canal faces a number of potential concerns. Efficiency and maintenance[edit] Opponents to the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties
Torrijos-Carter Treaties
feared that efficiency and maintenance would suffer following the U.S. withdrawal from the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Zone; however, this has been proven not to be the case. Capitalizing on practices developed during the American administration, canal operations are improving under Panamanian control.[78] Canal
Canal
Waters Time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to navigate the canal, including waiting time, is a key measure of efficiency; according to the ACP, since 2000, it has ranged between 20 and 30 hours. The accident rate has also not changed appreciably in the past decade, varying between 10 and 30 accidents each year from about 14,000 total annual transits.[79][80][81] An official accident is one in which a formal investigation is requested and conducted. Increasing volumes of imports from Asia, which previously landed on U.S. West Coast ports, are now passing through the canal to the American East Coast.[82] The total number of ocean-going transits increased from 11,725 in 2003 to 13,233 in 2007, falling to 12,855 in 2009. (The canal's fiscal year runs from October through September.)[83] This has been coupled with a steady rise in average ship size and in the numbers of Panamax
Panamax
vessels passing through the canal, so that the total tonnage carried rose from 227.9 million PC/UMS tons in fiscal year 1999 to a then record high of 312.9 million tons in 2007, and falling to 299.1 million tons in 2009.[60][83] Tonnage for fiscal 2013, 2014 and 2015 was 320.6, 326.8 and 340.8 million PC/UMS tons carried on 13,660, 13,481 and 13,874 transits respectively.[84] The Panama Canal Authority
Panama Canal Authority
(ACP) has invested nearly US$1 billion in widening and modernizing the canal, with the aim of increasing capacity by 20%.[85] The ACP cites a number of major improvements, including the widening and straightening of the Gaillard Cut to reduce restrictions on passing vessels, the deepening of the navigational channel in Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
to reduce draft restrictions and improve water supply, and the deepening of the Atlantic and Pacific entrances to the canal. This is supported by new equipment, such as a new drill barge and suction dredger, and an increase of the tug boat fleet by 20%. In addition, improvements have been made to the canal's operating machinery, including an increased and improved tug locomotive fleet, the replacement of more than 16 km (10 mi) of locomotive track, and new lock machinery controls. Improvements have been made to the traffic management system to allow more efficient control over ships in the canal.[86] In December 2010, record-breaking rains caused a 17-hour closure of the canal; this was the first closure since the United States
United States
invasion of Panama
Panama
in 1989.[87][88] The rains also caused an access road to the Centenario Bridge to collapse.[89][90][91][92] Capacity[edit] The canal is currently handling more vessel traffic than had ever been envisioned by its builders. In 1934 it was estimated that the maximum capacity of the canal would be around 80 million tons per year;[93] as noted above, canal traffic in 2015 reached 340.8 million tons of shipping.

Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
provides the water to raise and lower vessels in the Canal, gravity fed into each set of locks

To improve capacity, a number of improvements have been made to the current canal system. These improvements aim to maximize the possible use of current locking system:[94]

Implementation of an enhanced locks lighting system; Construction
Construction
of two tie-up stations in Gaillard Cut; Widening Gaillard Cut
Gaillard Cut
from 192 to 218 meters (630 to 715 ft); Improvements to the tugboat fleet; Implementation of the carousel lockage system in Gatun locks; Development of an improved vessel scheduling system; Deepening of Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
navigational channels from 10.4 to 11.3 meters (34 to 37 ft) PLD; Modification of all locks structures to allow an additional draft of about 0.30 meters (1 ft); Deepening of the Pacific and Atlantic entrances; Construction
Construction
of a new spillway in Gatun, for flood control.

These improvements enlarged the capacity from 300 million PCUMS (2008) to 340 PCUMS (2012). It should be noted that these improvements were started before the new locks project, and are complementary to it. Competition[edit] Despite having enjoyed a privileged position for many years, the canal is increasingly facing competition from other quarters. Because canal tolls have risen as ships have become larger, some critics[95] have suggested that the Suez Canal
Canal
is now a viable alternative for cargo en route from Asia
Asia
to the U.S. East Coast.[96] The Panama
Panama
Canal, however, continues to serve more than 144 of the world's trade routes and the majority of canal traffic comes from the "all-water route" from Asia to the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts.[citation needed] On June 15, 2013, Nicaragua awarded the Hong Kong-based HKND Group a 50-year concession to develop a canal through the country.[97] The increasing rate of melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
has led to speculation that the Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
or Arctic Bridge
Arctic Bridge
may become viable for commercial shipping at some point in the future. This route would save 9,300 km (5,800 mi) on the route from Asia
Asia
to Europe compared with the Panama
Panama
Canal, possibly leading to a diversion of some traffic to that route. However, such a route is beset by unresolved territorial issues and would still hold significant problems owing to ice.[98] Water issues[edit]

Gatun locks showing the "mule" locomotives at work

Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
is filled with rainwater, and the lake accumulates excess water during wet months. The water is lost to the oceans at a rate of 101,000 m3 (26,700,000 US gal; 22,200,000 imp gal) per downward lock cycle. Since a ship will have to go upward to Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
first and then descend, a single passing will cost double the amount; but the same waterflow cycle can be used for another ship passing in the opposite direction. The ship's submerged volume is not relevant to this amount of water.[99][100] During the dry season, when there is less rainfall, there is also a shortfall of water in Gatun Lake.[citation needed] As a signatory to the United Nations
United Nations
Global Compact
Global Compact
and member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the ACP has developed an environmentally and socially sustainable program for expansion, which protects the aquatic and terrestrial resources of the canal watershed. The expansion guarantees the availability and quality of water resources by using water-saving basins at each new lock. These water-saving basins diminish water loss and preserve freshwater resources along the waterway by reusing water from the basins into the locks. Each lock chamber has three water-saving basins, which reuse 60% of the water in each transit. There are a total of nine basins for each of the two lock complexes, and a total of 18 basins for the entire project.[citation needed] The mean sea level at the Pacific side is about 20 cm (8 in) higher than that of the Atlantic side due to differences in ocean conditions such as water densities and weather.[101] Third set of locks project (expansion)[edit] Main article: Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
expansion project

New Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
expansion project. July 2015

New Agua Clara locks (Atlantic side)

Canal lock
Canal lock
sizes

As demand is rising for efficient global shipping of goods, the canal is positioned to be a significant feature of world shipping for the foreseeable future. However, changes in shipping patterns —particularly the increasing numbers of larger-than- Panamax
Panamax
ships— necessitated changes to the canal for it to retain a significant market share. In 2006 it was anticipated that by 2011, 37% of the world's container ships would be too large for the present canal, and hence a failure to expand would result in a significant loss of market share. The maximum sustainable capacity of the original canal, given some relatively minor improvement work, was estimated at 340 million PC/UMS tons per year; it was anticipated that this capacity would be reached between 2009 and 2012. Close to 50% of transiting vessels were already using the full width of the locks.[102] An enlargement scheme similar to the 1939 Third Lock Scheme, to allow for a greater number of transits and the ability to handle larger ships, had been under consideration for some time,[103] was approved by the government of Panama,[104][105] The cost was estimated at US$5.25 billion, and the expansion allowed to double the canal's capacity, allowing more traffic and the passage of longer and wider Post- Panamax
Panamax
ships. The proposal to expand the canal was approved in a national referendum by about 80% on October 22, 2006.[106] The canal expansion was built between 2007 and 2016, though completion was originally expected by the end of 2014.[1] The expansion plan had two new flights of locks built parallel to, and operated in addition to, the old locks: one east of the existing Gatun locks, and one southwest of the Miraflores locks, each supported by approach channels. Each flight ascends from sea level directly to the level of Gatun Lake; the existing two-stage ascent at Miraflores and Pedro Miguel locks was not replicated. The new lock chambers feature sliding gates, doubled for safety, and are 427 m (1,400 ft) long, 55 m (180 ft) wide, and 18.3 m (60 ft) deep. This allows the transit of vessels with a beam of up to 49 m (160 ft), an overall length of up to 366 m (1,200 ft) and a draft of up to 15 m (49 ft), equivalent to a container ship carrying around 12,000 containers, each 6.1 m (20 ft) in length (TEU). The new locks are supported by new approach channels, including a 6.2 km (3.9 mi) channel at Miraflores from the locks to the Gaillard Cut, skirting Miraflores Lake. Each of these channels are 218 m (720 ft) wide, which will require post- Panamax
Panamax
vessels to navigate the channels in one direction at a time. The Gaillard Cut and the channel through Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
were widened to at least 280 m (920 ft) on the straight portions and at least 366 m (1,200 ft) on the bends. The maximum level of Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
was raised from 26.7 m (88 ft) to 27.1 m (89 ft). Each flight of locks is accompanied by nine water reutilization basins (three per lock chamber), each basin being about 70 m (230 ft) wide, 430 m (1,400 ft) long and 5.50 m (18 ft) deep. These gravity-fed basins allow 60% of the water used in each transit to be reused; the new locks consequently use 7% less water per transit than each of the existing lock lanes. The deepening of Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
and the raising of its maximum water level also provide capacity for significantly more water storage. These measures are intended to allow the expanded canal to operate without constructing new reservoirs. The estimated cost of the project is US$5.25 billion. The project was designed to allow for an anticipated growth in traffic from 280 million PC/UMS tons in 2005 to nearly 510 million PC/UMS tons in 2025. The expanded canal will have a maximum sustainable capacity of about 600 million PC/UMS tons per year. Tolls will continue to be calculated based on vessel tonnage, and in some cases depend on the locks used. An article in the February 2007 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine described the plans for the canal expansion, focusing on the engineering aspects of the expansion project.[107] There is also a follow-up article in the February 2010 issue of Popular Mechanics.[108] On September 3, 2007, thousands of Panamanians
Panamanians
stood across from Paraíso Hill in Panama
Panama
to witness a huge initial explosion and launch of the Expansion Program. The first phase of the project was the dry excavations of the 218 meters (715 feet) wide trench connecting the Gaillard Cut
Gaillard Cut
with the Pacific coast, removing 47 million cubic meters of earth and rock.[109] By June 2012, a 30 m reinforced concrete monolith had been completed, the first of 46 such monoliths which will line the new Pacific-side lock walls.[110] By early July 2012, however, it was announced that the canal expansion project had fallen six months behind schedule, leading expectations for the expansion to open in April 2015 rather than October 2014, as originally planned.[111] By September 2014, the new gates were projected to be open for transit at the "beginning of 2016."[112][113][114][115] It was announced in July 2009 that the Belgian dredging company Jan De Nul, together with a consortium of contractors consisting of the Spanish Sacyr Vallehermoso, the Italian Impregilo, and the Panamanian company Grupo Cusa, had been awarded the contract to build the six new locks for US$3.1 billion, which was one billion less than the next highest competing bid due to having a concrete budget 71% percent smaller than that of the next bidder and allotted roughly 25% less for steel to reinforce that concrete. The contract resulted in $100 million in dredging works over the next few years for the Belgian company and a great deal of work for its construction division. The design of the locks is a carbon copy of the Berendrecht Lock, which is 68 m wide and 500 m long, making it the largest lock in the world. Completed in 1989 by the Port of Antwerp, which De Nul helped build, the company still has engineers and specialists who were part of that project.[116] In January 2014, a contract dispute threatened the progress of the project.[117][118] There was a delay of less than two months however, with work by the consortium members reaching goals by June 2014.[119][120] In June 2015, flooding of the new locks began: first on the Atlantic side, then on the Pacific; by then, the canal's re-inauguration was slated for April 2016.[121][122][123] On March 23, 2016, the expansion inauguration was set for June 26, 2016.[124] The new locks opened for commercial traffic on 26 June 2016, and the first ship to cross the canal using the third set of locks was a modern New Panamax
Panamax
vessel, the Chinese-owned container ship Cosco Shipping Panama.[1] The original locks, now over 100 years old, allow engineers greater access for maintenance, and are projected to continue operating indefinitely.[102] The total cost is unknown since the expansion's contractors are seeking at least an addition US$3.4 billion from the canal authority due to excess expenses.[125] Rival Colombia
Colombia
rail link[edit] China is investigating a proposal to construct a 220 km (137 mi) railway between Colombia's Pacific and Caribbean coasts.[126][127][128][129] Rival Nicaragua canal[edit] Main article: Nicaragua Canal On July 7, 2014, Wang Jing, chairman of the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Ltd. (HKND Group) advised that a route for Nicaragua's proposed canal had been approved. The construction work was projected by HKND to begin in 2014 and take 5 years.[130], although there has been little progress whilst a series of environmental impact assessments are being made[131]. The Nicaraguan parliament has approved plans for the 173-mile canal through Nicaragua, and according to the deal, the company will be responsible for operating and maintaining the canal for a 50-year period. The government of Nicaragua hopes this will boost the economy; the opposition is concerned with its environmental impact. According to the independent impact assessment by British firm ERM[131], some 30,000 local residents will be displaced by the canal, although opposition leaders and Amnesty International claim the figure will be in the hundreds of thousands. Supporters and the environmental impact study claim there will be net environmental benefits, but critics argue that nearly a million acres of delicate ecosystems will be destroyed by the time construction is completed.[131][132][133] Other projects[edit] Individuals, companies, and governments have explored the possibility of constructing deep water ports and rail links connecting coasts as a "dry canal" in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador/Honduras. However, plans to construct these sea-rail-sea links have yet to materialize.[134] Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Honorary Pilots[edit] During the last one hundred years, the Panama Canal Authority
Panama Canal Authority
has appointed a few " Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Honorary Pilots". The most recent of these were Commodore Ronald Warwick,[135] a former Master of the Cunard Liners SS Queen Elizabeth 2
Queen Elizabeth 2
and RMS Queen Mary 2, who has traversed the Canal
Canal
more than 50 times, and Captain Raffaele Minotauro, an Unlimited Master Senior Grade, of the former Italian governmental navigation company known as the "Italian Line". This service can be requested from the Panama
Panama
canal authority at any time who will consider each request. See also[edit]

Panama
Panama
portal North America portal United States
United States
portal

Canal
Canal
Zone Police Cargo ship sizes Isthmus of Tehuantepec List of waterways Marion Power Shovel Company Nicaragua Canal Strait of Magellan Suez Canal Ajax (crane barge)

References[edit]

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Review. February 1971: 11. Retrieved 2012-04-30.  ^ " Gatun Lake
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Announces Fiscal Year 2008 Metrics". Panama
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Authority. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2010-07-09.  ^ "News—PanCanal.com; Panama Canal Authority
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Announces Fiscal Year 2009 Metrics". Panama
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Authority. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2010-07-09.  ^ Lipton, Eric (2004-11-22). "New York Port Hums Again, With Asian Trade". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2005-03-07.  ^ a b "ACP 2009 Annual Report" (PDF). Panama
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Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-07-19.  ^ Nettleton, Steve (1999). "Transfer heavy on symbolism, light on change". CNN Interactive. Archived from the original on December 18, 2008.  ^ "9 Facts about the Panama
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Expansion – Infographic". Mercatrade. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.  ^ " BBC
BBC
News— Panama
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reopens after temporary closure". 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2010-12-13.  ^ "The Press Association: Panama
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flooding displaces thousands". 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-12.  ^ "NOTICIAS PANAMÁ—PERIODICO LA ESTRELLA ONLINE: Gobierno abrirá parcialmente Puente Centenario; Corredores serán gratis [Al Minuto]". 2010-12-13. Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2010-12-13.  ^ "Rain Causes Panama
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Bridge To Collapse". digtriad.com. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2012-07-08. [permanent dead link] ^ "Entrance to Panama
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Bridge Closed due to Rain Damage". 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2010-12-13.  ^ "Aftermath of Panama
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flooding hits transport and finances—rain continues". 2010-12-13. Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2010-12-13.  ^ Mack, Gerstle (1944). The Land Divided—A History of the Panama Canal
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Canal
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Canal Authority Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine., p. 45 ^ Jackson, Eric (2007). Shipping industry complains about PanCanal toll hikes. Archived from the original on 2010-04-18.  ^ "Maersk Line to Dump Panama
Panama
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for Suez as Ships Get Bigger". 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2013-12-24.  ^ De Cordoba, Jose (June 13, 2013). "Nicaragua Revives Its Canal Dream". Wall Street Journal.  ^ Sevunts, Levon (2005-06-12). " Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
redux". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2009-04-20.  See also: Comte, Michel (2005-12-22). "Conservative Leader Harper Asserts Canada's Arctic Claims". DefenceNews.com (Agence France-Presse). Retrieved 2006-02-23.  ^ "The Panama
Panama
Canal; Canal
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FAQ". Archived from the original on 2010-09-15.  ^ "The Panama
Panama
Canal—Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on May 7, 2009. Each lock chamber requires 101,000 m3 (26,700,000 US gal; 22,200,000 imp gal) of water. An average of 200,000,000 L (52,000,000 US gal) of fresh water are used [in a single passing].  ^ "Sea Level: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers", psmsl.org ^ a b "Relevant Information on the Third Set of Locks Project" (PDF). Panama
Panama
Canal
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Authority. 2006-04-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2006-04-25.  ^ "The Panama
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set for $7.5bn revamp". BBC
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News.  ^ " Panama
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Authority: Panama
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Expansion is "2009 Project Finance Deal of the Year", 12 March 2010". Pancanal.com. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-10-24.  ^ " Panama
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approves $5.25 billion canal expansion". MSNBC.com. 2006-10-22.  ^ Reagan, Brad (February 2007). "The Panama
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Panama
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Gets a New Lane". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on 2010-02-06.  ^ "Work starts on biggest-ever Panama
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(19 June 2012). " Panama
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Completes First Monolith at the New Pacific Locks". Retrieved 2012-06-20.  ^ Ship
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and Bunker (2 July 2012). "Delay Confirmed on Panama
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Panama
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Canal
Authority updates Maersk Line on expansion programme". Hellenic Shipping News. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.  ^ Panama Canal Authority
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(20 August 2014). " Panama
Panama
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Canal
Updates Maersk Line on Expansion Program". Retrieved 3 September 2014.  ^ Smith, Bruce (9 Sep 2014). "Maritime panel to hold sessions on port congestion". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 2014-09-11. Retrieved 11 Sep 2014.  ^ "De Nul dredging company to build locks in Panama
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schedule". American Shipper. January 2, 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014.  ^ Lomi Kriel; Elida Moreno (January 8, 2014). " Panama
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refuses to pay $1 billion more for expansion work". Reuters. Retrieved 10 January 2014.  ^ Panama Canal Authority
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(20 February 2014). " Panama
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New Locks Project Works Resume". Retrieved 2014-06-16.  ^ Panama Canal Authority
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(10 June 2014). "Second Shipment of new gates arrive at the Panama
Panama
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(11 June 2015). " Panama
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Panama
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Panama Canal Authority
(22 June 2015). " Panama
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Canal
Expansion Moves Ahead with Filling of New Pacific Locks". Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.  ^ Panama Canal Authority
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(23 March 2016). " Panama
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Inaugurates Scale Model Training Facility, Announces Expansion Inauguration Date". Retrieved 4 April 2016.  ^ WALT BOGDANICH, JACQUELINE WILLIAMS and ANA GRACIELA MÉNDEZ (JUNE 22, 2016) The New Panama
Panama
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Canal
mania hits central America with three more Atlantic-Pacific projects". The Load Star.  ^ "Buckingham First Day Covers". Internet Stamps Group Limited. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 

Further reading[edit] Construction
Construction
and technical issues[edit]

Brodhead, Michael J. 2012. "The Panama
Panama
Canal: Writings of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Officers Who Conceived and Built It." U.S. Army Corps of Engineers History Office, Alexandria, VA. Hoffman, Jon T.; Brodhead, Michael J; Byerly, Carol R.; Williams, Glenn F. (2009). The Panama
Panama
Canal: An Army's Enterprise. Washington, D.C.: United States
United States
Army Center of Military History. 70–115–1.  Jaen, Omar. (2005). Las Negociaciones de los Tratados Torrijos-Carter, 1970–1979 (Tomos 1 y 2). Panama: Autoridad del Canal
Canal
de Panama. ISBN 9962-607-32-9 (Obra completa) Jorden, William J. (1984). Panama
Panama
Odyssey. 746 pages, illustrated. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-76469-3 McCullough, David (1977), The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama
Panama
Canal, 1870–1914, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-24409-4  Mills, J. Saxon. (1913). The Panama
Panama
Canal—A history and description of the enterprise A Project Gutenberg free ebook. Parker, Matthew. (2007). Panama
Panama
Fever: The Epic Story of One of the Greatest Human Achievements of All Time—The Building of the Panama Canal. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-51534-4 Sherman, Gary. "Conquering the Landscape (Gary Sherman explores the life of the great American trailblazer, John Frank Stevens)," History Magazine, July 2008.

Diplomatic and political history[edit]

Gilboa, Eytan. "The Panama
Panama
Invasion Revisited: Lessons for the Use of Force in the Post Cold War Era." Political Science Quarterly (1995): 539–562. in JSTOR Greene, Julie, The Canal
Canal
Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
(New York: Penguin Press, 2009) Hogan, J. Michael. " Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
and the Heroes of Panama." Presidential Studies Quarterly 19 (1989): 79-94. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40574566 LaFeber, Walter. The Panama
Panama
Canal: the crisis in historical perspective (Oxford University Press, 1978) Major, John. Prize Possession: The United States
United States
and the Panama
Panama
Canal, 1903–1979 (1993) Maurer, Noel, and Carlos Yu. The Big Ditch: How America Took, Ran, and Ultimately Gave Away the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
(Princeton University Press, 2010); 420 pp.  ISBN 978-0-691-14738-3. Econometric analysis of costs ($9 billion in 2009 dollars) and benefits to U.S. and Panama Mellander, Gustavo A.(1971) The United States
United States
in Panamanian Politics: The Intriguing Formative Years. Daville, Ill.:Interstate Publishers. OCLC 138568. Mellander, Gustavo A.; Nelly Maldonado Mellander (1999). Charles Edward Magoon: The Panama
Panama
Years. Río Piedras, Puerto Rico: Editorial Plaza Mayor. ISBN 1-56328-155-4. OCLC 42970390. Sánchez, Peter M. Panama
Panama
Lost? U.S. Hegemony, Democracy and the Canal (University Press of Florida, 2007), 251 pp, Sánchez, Peter M. "The end of hegemony? Panama
Panama
and the United States." International Journal on World Peace (2002): 57–89. in JSTOR

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
(category)

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps

Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Panama Canal Authority
Panama Canal Authority
website—Has a simulation showing how the canal works Making the Dirt Fly, Building the Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Smithsonian Institution Libraries Canalmuseum—History, Documents, Photographs and Stories Early stereographic images of the construction University of California A.B. Nichols Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Collection at the Linda Hall Library Archival collection of maps, blueprints, photographs, letters, and other documents, collected by Aurin B. Nichols, an engineer who worked on the canal project through from 1899 until its completion.

Coordinates: 9°04′48″N 79°40′48″W / 9.08000°N 79.68000°W / 9.08000; -79.68000

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Theodore Roosevelt

26th President of the United States, 1901–1909 25th Vice President of the United States, 1901 33rd Governor of New York, 1899–1900 Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1897–1898 New York City Police Commissioner, 1895–1897 New York State Assemblyman, 1882 1883 1884

Presidency

First inauguration

historic site

Second inauguration "Square Deal" Booker T. Washington dinner Conservation

Newlands Reclamation Act Transfer Act of 1905 Antiquities Act Pelican Island Devils Tower
Devils Tower
National Monument Muir Woods National Monument Other National Monuments United States
United States
Forest Service, United States
United States
Reclamation Service National Wildlife Refuge System Roosevelt Arch Conference of Governors

Northern Securities Company breakup

court case

Coal strike of 1902 Pure Food and Drug Act

Food and Drug Administration

Meat Inspection Act Expediting Act Elkins Act Hepburn Act Aldrich–Vreeland Act Federal Employers Liability Act Kinkaid Act Big Stick ideology Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty

Panama
Panama
Canal
Canal
Zone Panama
Panama
Canal

Venezuelan crisis

Roosevelt Corollary

Occupation of Cuba Russo-Japanese War

Treaty of Portsmouth 1906 Nobel Peace Prize Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907

College football meetings Bureau of Investigation Department of Commerce and Labor

Bureau of Corporations

Keep Commission Inland Waterways Commission Bureau of the Census Great White Fleet Perdicaris incident Cabinet White House
White House
West Wing State of the Union Address, 1901 1906 1908 White House
White House
desk Federal judiciary appointments

Other events

Spanish–American War

Rough Riders Battle of Las Guasimas Battle of San Juan Hill

"Bull Moose" Progressive Party

New Nationalism Assassination attempt

Boone and Crockett Club Smithsonian–Roosevelt African Expedition "River of Doubt" Amazonian expedition

Life and homes

Birthplace, boyhood home replica Sagamore Hill Home and Museum

Oyster Bay

Elkhorn Ranch Maltese Cross Cabin Pine Knot cabin Gravesite

Writings and speeches

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
bibliography The Naval War of 1812
The Naval War of 1812
(1882 book) "The Strenuous Life" (1899 speech) "Citizenship in a Republic" (1910 speech) "Progressive Cause Greater Than Any Individual" (1912 post-assassination-attempt speech) Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1913 book) The Forum magazine articles Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Cyclopedia Archival collections

Elections

New York state election, 1898 Republican National Convention, 1900 1904 1912 1916 United States
United States
presidential election, 1900 1904 1912

Legacy

Mount Rushmore Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Center and Digital Library White House
White House
Roosevelt Room Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
National Park

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Wilderness

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Island Roosevelt National Forest Roosevelt Study Center Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Association Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Memorial Park

Monument Assemblage

Roosevelt River Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Award Roosevelt Road U.S. Postage stamps Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider
Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider
sculpture Equestrian statue

Popular culture

Teddy bear "Speak softly, and carry a big stick" Books Films

Roosevelt in Africa
Roosevelt in Africa
1910 documentary The Roosevelts 2014 documentary

Related

Political positions "Bully pulpit" Ananias Club

"Nature fakers"

Progressive Era A Guest of Honor Porcellian Club "Muckraker" National Collegiate Athletic Association "Roosevelt Republican"

Family

Alice Hathaway Lee (first wife) Edith Kermit Carow (second wife) Alice Lee Roosevelt (daughter) Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
III (son) Kermit Roosevelt
Kermit Roosevelt
(son) Ethel Carow Roosevelt (daughter) Archibald Roosevelt
Archibald Roosevelt
(son) Quentin Roosevelt
Quentin Roosevelt
(son) Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Sr. (father) Martha Stewart Bulloch (mother) Anna Roosevelt (sister) Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt
Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt
(brother) Corinne Roosevelt (sister) Cornelius Roosevelt
Cornelius Roosevelt
(grandfather) James Stephens Bulloch
James Stephens Bulloch
(grandfather) James A. Roosevelt
James A. Roosevelt
(uncle) Robert Roosevelt
Robert Roosevelt
(uncle) James Dunwoody Bulloch
James Dunwoody Bulloch
(half-uncle) Irvine Bulloch
Irvine Bulloch
(uncle) Theodore Douglas Robinson
Theodore Douglas Robinson
(nephew) Corinne Robinson (niece) Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
(niece) Hall Roosevelt (nephew)

← William McKinley William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft

Category

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 245637

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