Since 2007, work has been underway on the most comprehensive expansion in the history of the Panama Canal. In the meantime, this project is nearly completed. In addition to a third set of locks, it also includes several new access channels as well as a third navigation channel. Furthermore, the existing navigation channels have been widened and new lock gates have been installed that will permit faster opening and closing of the locks.
The capacity of the canal will be doubled: In the future, Panamax-II type ships with a length of up to 366 m, a width of 49 m and a draft of 15.2 m will also be able to navigate the canal. Within the scope of the project, an access channel has been built that will link the new Pacific lock with the Pedro Miguel Locks towards the North and, further along, with the section of the canal that is known as Gaillard Cut or Culebra Cut.
North of the Pedro Miguel Locks, a peninsula known as Punta Norte de Cartagena had to be stabilized. For this purpose, the soil was strengthened using cast iron piles. In addition, several prestressed reinforced concrete girders were placed in the form of a fan into a concrete structure that was formed like a sickle. The girders were anchored using 46 mm Ø, Grade 150, double corrosion protected (DCP) DYWIDAG Bar Anchors.