(1914) A channel carved through rock and jungle joins oceansThirty-three years of toil comes to a close as one of the greatest engineering achievements in human history, a 51-mile-long channel carved through the Isthmus of Panama, opens to maritime traffic. The new shortcut between the Pacific and Atlantic will speed transport and remake the global economy.The Panama Canal is an artificial 48-mile waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks 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 metres above sea level, and then lower the ships at the other end. The original locks are 33.5 metres 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 ships, capable of handling more cargo.
Length: 47.90 miles (77.10 km) Bridges: Bridge of the Americas · Centennial Bridge, Panama · Atlantic Bridge, Panama Map of the Panama Canal