The Canal & Barro Colorada Island

Panama Canal


Panama Canal


Barro Colorada Island Benefits for the massive trade generated by the Panama Canal. Almost 100 years after it was built, the Panama Canal still stands as a marvel of engineering. What started as a French project in 1880 was completed as an American one in 1914, with 40,000 workers moving enough dirt to bury the entire island of Manhattan 12 feet deep. Over 25,000 workers perished in the process, many due to tropical diseases, and the project cost the U.S. government somewhere around $375 million. The lucrative route between the Atlantic and Pacific was worth it back then and still is today. The 50-mile-long canal route takes ships through a channel from one ocean, into an artificial lake, and out another channel to the other side. Lots of the Canal workers live in Barro Colorada Island Three sets of locks draw water from that artificial lake to raise and lower boats, ranging from small yachts to giant freighters, over a total elevation change of 85 feet. With each transit, the canal loses 52 million gallons of that fresh water to the ocean. With 13,000 to 14,000 passages each year, that’s a lot of water. You should visit the Canal Museum and watch a documentary of this wonder working.

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