Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority is the agency of the government of Panama responsible for the operation and management of the Panama Canal. The ACP took over the administration of the canal from the Panama Canal Commission, the joint US–Panama agency that managed the canal, on December 31, 1999, when the canal was handed over from the United States to Panama as per the Torrijos–Carter Treaties; the Panama Canal Authority is established under Title XIV of the National Constitution, has exclusive responsibility for the operation, management, preservation and modernization of the canal. It is responsible for the operation of the canal in a safe, continuous and profitable manner; the Organic Law of the Panama Canal Authority, passed on June 11, 1997, provides the legal framework for the canal's organization and operation. Because of its unique nature, the ACP has financial autonomy, as well as ownership of the canal's assets; the Board of Directors is responsible for establishing policies for the operation and modernization of the Canal, as well as supervising its management pursuant to the National Constitution, the Panama Canal Authority Organic Law, the Regulations thereto appertaining.
The board of directors is made up as follows: One Director designated by the President of the Republic, who shall chair the Board of Directors and shall have the rank of Minister of State for Canal Affairs. One Director designated by the Legislative Branch, who may be appointed or removed thereby. Nine Directors appointed by the President of the Republic with the consent of the Cabinet Council and ratification by an absolute majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly; the Directors shall serve in their posts for a term of 9 years, may only be removed for the reasons set forth in Article 20 of the Panama Canal Authority Organic Law. The Panama Canal is defined by law to be an inalienable patrimony of the Republic of Panama. Therefore, it may not be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered or transferred; the Panama Canal Authority Board of Directors is responsible for establishing policies for the operation and modernization of the Canal, as well as supervising its management. At present, the Panama Canal Authority Board of Directors is made up of the following members: Official website
Fort Sherman is a former United States Army base in Panama, located on Toro Point at the Caribbean end of the Panama Canal, on the western bank of the Canal directly opposite Colón. It was the primary defensive base for the Caribbean sector of the Canal, was the center for US jungle warfare training for some time, its Pacific-side partner was Fort Amador. Both bases were turned over to Panama in 1999. Concurrent with the Canal construction a number of defensive locations were developed to protect it, both with coastal defense guns, as well as military bases to defend against a direct infantry assault. Fort Sherman was the primary Caribbean-side infantry base, while Fort Amador protected the Pacific side. Construction of Fort Sherman began in January 1912 as a phase of the original 1910 defensive plans. Fort Sherman was named by War Department General Order No. 153 dated November 24, 1911, in honor of General Sherman. The Fort included 23,100 acres of land, about half of, covered by jungle; the developed areas included housing, barracks for 300, a small airstrip and various recreational areas.
Sherman was the site of the US's first operationally deployed early warning radar when an SCR-270 was installed there in 1941. The fort contained the following batteries Battery Baird 4 12-inch mortars Battery Howard 4 12-inch mortars Batter Stanley 1 14-inch disappearing gun Battery Mower 1 14-inch disappearing gun Battery Kilpatrick 2 6-inch disappearing guns Battery Sedgwick Pratt 2 12-inch M1895 barbettes Battery Alexander Mackenzie 2 12-inch barbettesDuring WW1 supplemental shore batteries were added on or near Fort Sherman using field pieces. 4 155-mm guns 4 75-mm guns After the decommissioning of the U. S. Army Coast Artillery Corps the forested area was used by the United States Army South Jungle Operations Training Center. JOTC was founded in 1951 to train both US and allied Central American forces in jungle warfare, with an enrollment of about 9,000 a year; the JOTC taught a 10-day Air Crew Survival Course, open to all branches of service, a four-week Engineer Jungle Warfare Course.
Upon completion of the course the Jungle expert badge or patch was awarded. Between 1966 and 1979, 1,160 sounding rockets with maximum flight altitudes of 99 kilometres were launched at Fort Sherman. Fort Sherman was used in the filming of the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace. List of former United States military installations in Panama Military Railroads on the Panama Canal Zone by Charles S. Small, Railroad monographs 1982 map of Fort Sherman
Centennial Bridge, Panama
Panama's Centennial Bridge is a major bridge crossing the Panama Canal. It was built to supplement the overcrowded Bridge of the Americas and to replace it as the carrier of the Pan-American Highway. Upon its opening in 2004, it became the second permanent crossing of the canal; the Centennial Bridge is the second major road crossing of the Panama Canal, the first being the Bridge of the Americas. The Centennial Bridge is located 15 km north of the Bridge of the Americas and crosses the Culebra Cut close to the Pedro Miguel locks. New freeway sections, connecting Arraijan in the west to Cerro Patacon in the east via the bridge alleviate congestion on the Bridge of the Americas; the Bridge of the Americas, which opened in 1962, was the only major road crossing of the Panama Canal. The traffic over this bridge was around 9,500 vehicles per day. Since the bridge represented a major bottleneck in the Pan-American Highway, Panama's Ministry of Public Works requested tenders for a second canal crossing in October 2000.
The contract to build a replacement bridge was awarded in March 2002. An ambitious schedule of just 29 months was set for construction, so that the bridge could open on the 90th anniversary of the first ship transit of the Panama Canal by the cargo ship Ancon, on 15 August 1914; the bridge was named for Panama's centennial, which occurred on 3 November 2003. The new bridge was designed by a joint venture between T. Y. Lin International and the Louis Berger Group Inc, constructed by German-based Bilfinger Berger using resources from its Australian subsidiary Baulderstone Hornibrook. Boston-based transportation architect Miguel Rosales from Rosales + Partners created the concept and initial aesthetic designs for the Panama-Centennial Bridge. Structural engineering contracts were awarded to Andrä and Partner; the bridge was inaugurated on schedule on 15 August 2004, although it was opened for traffic on 2 September 2005, when the new highways leading to it were finished. Part of the access to the Centennial Bridge collapsed in December 2010, following heavy rain and flooding.
In November 2011 full traffic was restored. The bridge is a cable-stayed design with a total span of 1,052 m; the main span clears the canal by 80 m, allowing large vessels to pass below it. The bridge is supported by each 184 m high; the deck carries six lanes of traffic across the canal. The Centennial Bridge is designed to withstand the earthquakes which are recorded in the canal area, it was built by the German construction firm Bilfinger. The West Tower was built about 50 m inland to allow space for the future widening of the Panama Canal. A shot of the bridge was shown in a GMC commercial that aired in the United States in 2006; the commercial was about GMC taking inspiration from great engineering achievements. Panama Canal Authority - Photos of the Centennial Bridge Panama Canal Authority - Live webcam at Centennial Bridge Puente Centenario at Structurae
Panama Canal expansion project
The Panama Canal expansion project called the Third Set of Locks Project, doubled the capacity of the Panama Canal by adding a new lane of traffic allowing for a larger number of ships, increasing the width and depth of the lanes and locks allowing larger ships to pass. The new ships, called New Panamax, are about one and a half times the previous Panamax size and can carry over twice as much cargo; the expanded canal began commercial operation on 26 June 2016. The project has: Built two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, excavated new channels to the new locks. Widened and deepened existing channels. Raised the maximum operating water level of Gatun Lake. Then-Panamanian President Martín Torrijos formally proposed the project on 24 April 2006, saying it would transform Panama into a First World country. A national referendum approved the proposal by a 76.8 percent majority on 22 October, the Cabinet and National Assembly followed suit. The project formally began in 2007.
It was announced that the Canal expansion would be completed by August 2014 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal but various setbacks, including strikes and disputes with the construction consortium over cost overruns, pushed the completion date several times. Following additional difficulties including seepage from the new locks, the expansion was opened on 26 June 2016; the expansion doubled the Canal’s capacity. On March 2nd 2018, the Panama Canal Authority announced that 3,000 New Panamax ships had crossed the canal expansion during its first 20 months of operation; the original Panama Canal has a limited capacity determined by operational times and cycles of the existing locks and further constrained by the current trend towards larger vessels transiting the canal, requiring more transit time in the locks and channels. Periodic maintenance on the aging canal requires shutdowns of this waterway. Demand is growing due to the growth of international trade, many users require a guaranteed level of service.
Despite the gains which have been made in efficiency, the Panama Canal Authority estimated that the canal would reach its maximum sustainable capacity between 2009 and 2012. The long-term solution for the congestion was the expansion of the canal with a third set of locks; the size of ships that can transit the canal, called Panamax, is constrained by the size of the locks, which are 110 ft wide and 1,050 ft long, 41.2 ft deep. The third set of locks will allow transit of larger, Post-Panamax ships, which have a greater cargo capacity than the current locks can handle; the new lock chambers are 180 ft wide, 1,400 ft long, 60 ft deep. These dimensions allow for an estimated 79% of all cargo-carrying vessels to transit the canal, up from 45%. All of the canal-widening studies since the 1930s have determined that the best way to increase canal capacity is by building a third set of locks larger than the 1914 locks; the US began excavations for new locks in 1939, but abandoned them in 1942 because of the outbreak of World War II.
This conclusion was again reached in the 1980s by the tripartite commission formed by Panama and the US. More the studies developed by the Panama Canal Authority for its 2025 master plan confirm that a third, larger set of locks is the most suitable and environmentally responsible option. Former president Martín Torrijos, in a 24 April 2006 speech announcing the project, said that the canal "is like our'petroleum'. Just like the petroleum that has not been extracted is worthless and that in order to extract it you have to invest in infrastructure, the canal requires to expand its capacity to absorb the growing demand of cargo and generate more wealth for Panamanians". While the canal expansion was being completed, considering the high operational costs of the vessels, the long queues that occur during the high season December through to March, the high value of some of the cargo transported through the canal, the ACP has implemented a Transit Booking System and Transit Slot Auction to allow a better management of the scarce capacity available and to increase the level of service offered to the shipping companies.
The scheme gives users two choices: transit by order of arrival on a first-come, first-served basis, as the canal has operated. The booked service allows two options of fees; the Transit Booking System, available online, allowing customers who do not want to wait in queue to pay an additional 15% over the regular tolls, guaranteeing a specific day for transit and crossing the canal in 18 hours or less. ACP sells 24 of these daily slots up to 365 days in advance; the second choice is high priority transit. Since 2006, ACP has made available a 25th slot, sold through the Transit Slot Auction to the highest bidder; the main customers of the Transit Booking System are cruise ships, container ships, vehicle carriers, non-containerized cargo vessels. The Panama Canal Authority predicts that the volume of cargo transiting the canal will grow by an average of 3% per year, doubling the 2005 tonnage by 2025. Allowing larger vessels to transit the canal will move more cargo per transit and volume of water used.
The dry and liquid bulk segments have generated most of the canal's revenues. Bulk cargo includes dry goods, such as grains, fertilizers and liquid goods, such as chemical products, propane gas, crude oil, oil derivatives. Containerized cargo has replaced dry bulk as the canal's
George Washington Goethals
Not to be confused with George Washington. George Washington Goethals was a United States Army General and civil engineer, best known for his administration and supervision of the construction and the opening of the Panama Canal, he was the State Engineer of New Jersey and the Acting Quartermaster General of the United States Army. Goethals was born in Brooklyn, New York to Flemish immigrants from Stekene, Johannes Baptista Goethals, a carpenter, wife Marie Le Barron. Aged 14, he entered the College of the City of New York. In April 1876, after three years of college, he won an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, he graduated second in his class in 1880, was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. Goethals remained at the military academy during the summer and fall of 1880 as an assistant instructor in practical astronomy. In 1881, he attended the Engineer School of Application at New York, his first field assignment came in 1882 with his appointment as engineer officer of the Department of Columbia in Vancouver, Washington.
His routine duties included reconnaissance and astronomical work, while his most consequential project was the replacement of a 120-foot bridge across the Spokane River. From 1885 to 1889, he taught military engineering at West Point, he returned to the field in 1889 to assist Colonel John W. Barlow with navigational improvements on the Cumberland River and Tennessee River. While an instructor at West Point, Goethals agreed to tutor Charles Young, the third African-American graduate of West Point. In 1891, Goethals was promoted to captain, he soon was placed in charge of the completion of the Muscle Shoals Canal along the Tennessee River near Florence, Alabama. This was his first independent command, his responsibilities included the design and construction of the Riverton Lock at Colbert Shoals, his recommendation of a single lock with an unprecedented lift of twenty-six feet was opposed by his superiors in Washington, he was forced to persuade the conservative army engineers of the merits of his design.
The lock's successful construction set a world record for lock height. The success of the Riverton Lock inspired the eventual adoption of high-lift locks elsewhere, including those for the Panama Canal. During the Spanish–American War, he was lieutenant colonel and chief of engineers of United States Volunteers. In 1903, Goethals became a member of the first Army General Staff in Washington, D. C. and served as coastal defence expert. Theodore Roosevelt believed that a US-controlled canal across Central America was a vital strategic interest of the country. Roosevelt encouraged the acquisition of the French Panama Canal effort; the purchase of the French-held land for $40 million was authorized by the June 28, 1902 Spooner Act. Since Panama was part of Colombia, Roosevelt began negotiating with that country to obtain the necessary rights. In early 1903 the Hay–Herrán Treaty was signed by both nations, but the Senate of Colombia failed to ratify the treaty. Roosevelt implied to Panamanian rebels that if they revolted, the US Navy would assist their fight for independence.
Panama declared its independence on November 3, 1903, the USS Nashville impeded Colombian interference. The victorious Panamanians gave the United States control of the Panama Canal Zone on February 23, 1904, for $10 million in accordance with the November 18, 1903 Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty; the United States took control of the French property—after the bankruptcy of the French Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama that started constructions on The Panama Canal under Ferdinand de Lesseps— on May 4, 1904. The new Panama Canal Zone Control was overseen by the Isthmian Canal Commission during construction; the US inherited a small workforce and an assortment of buildings and equipment, much of, neglected for fifteen years in the humid jungle environment. There were no facilities in place for a large workforce, the infrastructure was crumbling. Although chief engineer John Findley Wallace was pressured to resume construction, red tape from Washington stifled his efforts to obtain heavy equipment and caused friction between Wallace and the ICC.
He and chief sanitary officer William C. Gorgas were frustrated by delay, Wallace resigned in 1905, he was replaced by John Frank Stevens, who arrived on July 26, 1905. Stevens' approach was to obtain approval later, he improved drilling and dirt-removal equipment at the Culebra Cut for greater efficiency, revising the inadequate provisions in place for soil disposal. In November 1906 Roosevelt visited Panama to inspect the canal's progress, the first trip outside the United States by a sitting president. Whether contract employees or government workers would build the canal was controversial. Bids for the canal's construction were opened in January 1907, Knoxville, Tennessee-based contractor William J. Oliver was the low bidder. Stevens disliked Oliver, vehemently opposed his choice. Although Roosevelt favoured the use of a contractor, he decided that army engineers should carry out the work. According to the book The Panama Canal: An Army's Enterprise, Goethals made such an impression on William Howard Taft Secretary of War, that Taft recommended him as an engineer for the Panama Canal.
Stevens, frustrated by government inaction and the army involvement, resigned from his position. In February 1907 US President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Colonel George Washington Goethals chief engineer of the Panama Canal; the building of the Canal was completed
John Frank Stevens
John Frank Stevens was an American engineer who built the Great Northern Railway in the United States and was chief engineer on the Panama Canal between 1905 and 1907. Stevens was born in rural Maine, near West Gardiner to John Stevens, a tanner and farmer, Harriet Leslie French, he attended Maine State Normal School for two years. At the conclusion of his schooling in 1873, bleak economic conditions held little promise of a job, he chose to go west. Entry into the field of civil engineering evolved from his experience in the Minneapolis city engineer's office. For two years he carried out a variety of engineering tasks, including surveying and building railroads, at the same time gained experience and an understanding of the subject, he became a practical engineer, self-taught and driven by a self-described "bull-dog tenacity of purpose." In 1878 Stevens married Harriet T. O'Brien, they had five children. By the age of 33, in 1886, Stevens was principal assistant engineer for the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway, in charge of building the line from Duluth, Minnesota to Sault Ste.
Marie, across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Although a large part of his work involved surveying, he assisted in all phases of railroading: reconnaissance, locating and construction. In 1889, Stevens was hired by James J. Hill as a locating engineer for the Great Northern Railway. Stevens earned acclaim in 1889 when he explored Marias Pass and determined its practicability for a railroad. Stevens was an efficient administrator with imagination, he discovered a pass through the Cascade Mountains that bears his name, set railroad construction standards in the Mesabi Range of northern Minnesota, supervised construction of the Oregon Trunk Line. Hill promoted him to chief engineer in 1895, to general manager. During his time at the Great Northern, Stevens built over a thousand miles of railroad, including the original Cascade Tunnel. Stevens Pass in the Cascade Range was named for him. Stevens left the Great Northern in 1903 for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, where he was promoted to vice-president.
In 1905, at Hill's recommendation, he was hired by Theodore Roosevelt as chief engineer on the Panama Canal. Stevens' primary achievement in Panama was to build the infrastructure needed for the completion of the canal. "The digging," he said, "is the least thing of all." He proceeded to build warehouses, machine shops, piers. Communities for the personnel were planned and built to include housing, hospitals and hotels, he authorized extensive sanitation and mosquito-control programs that eliminated yellow fever and other diseases from the Isthmus. Reflecting his background, he saw the early stage of the canal project itself as a problem in railroad engineering, which included rebuilding the Panama Railway and devising a rail-based system for disposing of the soil from the excavations. Stevens argued the case against a sea level canal of the kind, he convinced Theodore Roosevelt of the necessity of a high-level canal built with locks. Stevens resigned from the Canal project in 1907 to Roosevelt's great annoyance, as the focus of the work turned to construction of the canal itself.
As a railroad engineer, Stevens had little expertise in building locks and dams, realized he was no longer the best person for the remainder of the job. Stevens would have been aware that the original Cascade Tunnel, for which he was responsible, was in hindsight built in error too close to the ruling grade and was turning from a credit to a debit; the true reasons for his resignation have never been known. Following the collapse of Imperial Russia in 1917, leaders of the provisional government appealed to President Wilson for help with their transportation systems. Stevens was selected to chair a board of prominent U. S. railroad experts sent to Russia to rationalize and manage a system, in disarray. After the overthrow of the provisional government, the board's work ceased. Stevens was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the War Department for his service in Russia. Stevens remained in Allied-occupied Manchuria and in 1919 headed the Inter-Allied Technical Board charged with the administration and operation of the Chinese Eastern and Siberian railways.
He remained in an advisory capacity. After his return to the United States Stevens continued to work as a consulting engineer, ending his career in Baltimore in the early 1930s, he was awarded the Franklin Institute's Franklin Medal in 1930. He retired to Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he died at the age of 90 in 1943. "Conquering the Landscape", History Magazine, July 2008. "Stevens, John Frank" in American National Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 2000. Baugh, Odin A.. John Frank Stevens: American trailblazer. Spokane, WA: Arthur H. Clark Co. Foust, Clifford. John Frank Stevens: Civil Engineer. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Hidy, Ralph W. and Muriel E. Hidy, “John Frank Stevens, Great Northern Engineer,” Minnesota History 41#8 pp 345–361 McCullough, David.. The Path Between the Seas: the creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914. New York: Simon & Schuster. Mellander, Gustavo A.. Charles Ed
Enrique Adolfo Jiménez Airport
Enrique Adolfo Jiménez Airport is an international airport located in Colón, offering scheduled airline flights to Panama City, to other destinations. The airport is just east of Colon's cargo handling facilities; this airport contains car rentals, a duty-free shop and coffee shops. The airport is located near Casino; the Tocumen VOR-DME is located 33.2 nautical miles east-southeast of the airport. The Enrique Jimenez VOR-DME is located on the field. Prior to its use as a civil airport, the facility was a United States Army military airfield, established in 1918, it was turned over to the Panama Canal Zone government in 1949, was converted into a civil airport. American control over the airport ended in 1979 with the turnover of the Panama Canal Zone to the government of Panama. For over thirty years, the field was operational with the United States Air Force and other entities before it becoming France Air Force Base. Following its closure the field came under civilian control. France Air Force Base was deactivated on 1 November 1949 by the United States Air Force due to budgetary reductions, turned into a civil airport in the United States Canal Zone, renamed Colon Airport.
The USAF, maintained jurisdiction over the airport until 31 December 1973, it was used as a satellite field of Albrook AFB. As Colon Airport, it was served by Boeing 307 Stratoliners and other early airliners flying Pan Am routes from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina via Havana and Kingston, Jamaica into Cristobal and Colón continuing south via Lima, into Buenos Aires. Being located near the midpoint of this route and at the point where it intersected the Panama Canal made this location a useful one for north-south airline services. With the return of the Canal Zone to Panama on 1 October 1979, the airport was renamed for Enrique Adolfo Jiménez, who served as Panamanian president from 1945 to 1948. On August 20, 2013, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli opened the new Enrique A. Jimenez International Airport; the new terminal can serve up to 1000 passengers at the peak period and the new runway can land aircraft of B757 type. In 1994, this airport was the departure point for Alas Chiricanas Flight 00901 downed by terrorists.
Transport in Panama List of airports in Panama OpenStreetMap - Enrique Adolfo Jiménez Airport OurAirports - Enrique Adolfo Jimenez Airport Accident history for Colon-Enrique A. Jimenez Airport at Aviation Safety Network