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The canal’s expansion stands as one of the largest, most internationally significant projects in the world.

Project Overview

Presented with the opportunity to enhance what the American Society of Civil Engineers cites as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, CH2M started working with the Panama Canal Authority in 2007 to deliver the $5.25-billion expansion of the canal in 2016.

The project included design and construction of new Atlantic and Pacific locks to create a third lane of traffic, the Pacific access channel dry excavation and dam construction, and multiple improvements to widen and deepen the shipping channel. These efforts effectively doubled the canal’s tonnage capacity and made room for much longer, wider ships. The improvements opened the way for additional trade and greater opportunities for the people of Panama and economies around the world.

The canal’s expansion stands as one of the largest, most internationally significant projects in the world.

Key facts

60

the new locks feature water-savings basins that recycle up to 60 percent of the water used per transit.

2X

the expansion program doubled the canal’s tonnage capacity, modernizing the global gateway for trade.

150M+

the program excavated more than 150 million cubic meters of material to create a third lane of traffic.

160

the canal connects more than 160 countries using more than 144 maritime routes. Each year some 13,000 to 14,000 vessels pass through the canal.

Testimonial

Their proven experience in the international program management arena has added value and mentoring to our integrated team. Providing professional support, CH2M worked with the Canal Authority to assist in achieving successful completion.

Jorge L. Quijano
Panama Canal Administrator
  • Panama Canal view
  • overview
  • oil boat in canal
  • boat in canal

Meet the team

What was involved?

Assisted the Panama Canal Authority with the management of the largest project at the Canal since its original construction.

Panama Canal Zoomed out

CH2M provided advisory services to ACP’s program team in the management of contracts, interfacing with design-build and construction teams, as well as numerous stakeholders. 

Before work on the canal Expansion began, the University of Texas at Dallas and CH2M trained more than 150 APC staff in Program Management tools and processes.

The program encompassed more than 35 distinct contracts including the Third Set of Locks Design-Build contract, various Pacific Access Channel dry excavation and dam construction contracts and numerous dredging contracts to widen and deepen the shipping channel.

Additional program elements included environmental mitigation and remediation, relocation of utilities serving communities, reforestation, relocation of impacted residences and site clearing for potential unexploded ordinance from previous military operations.

Community impact

A wave of change felt around the world. Held on June 26, 2016, the grand opening of the Panama Canal marked by the Neopanamax ship Cosco Shipping Panama making its way through the new locks. This ship’s voyage and the anticipation of its journey through the locks was followed world-wide for days in advance of the ship’s arrival. To celebrate this trade-advancing achievement, Panamaian President Juan Carlos Varela and Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano welcomed dignitaries and guests from around the world, including CH2M Chairman and CEO, Jacque Hinman. 

Panamaian President Juan Carlos Varela and Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano welcomed dignitaries and guests from around the world, including CH2M Chairman and CEO, Jacque Hinman. 
In Detail