The Panama Canal Third Set of Locks will double the Canal’s capacity by creating a new third lane of traffic and allowing more and larger ships to transit. New locks are being built on the Atlantic and Pacific sides. This megaproject will cost approximately $6 billion and accommodate new Panamax class vessels up to 366 m in length, 49 m in beam, and 13,000 TEU capacity.
Fast Lock Transits without Damage
The Panama Canal Authority assumes some liability for damage to vessels in transit through the locks. This financial risk is compounded by high throughput goals that require a fast progression of very large vessels through the locks. The key to a successful system is to allow vessel contact with the lock structures without damaging the vessels and incurring repair cost or damaging the locks and retarding throughput during lock repairs.
Integrate Maritime Practice with Civil Design
MWH is the lead designer of the new locks in a joint venture (CICP) with TetraTech and Iv-Infra. CICP lock design specialists are delivering a system that will enable high throughput, efficient operation and maintenance, with minimal water consumption. Glosten is providing a wide range of marine technical consulting services to the CICP consortium with special focus on the extensive fendering systems and vessel interface with the lock structure.
Glosten provided fendering system specifications and procurement consulting, fender system vendor selection and design reviews, and vessel/lock interface studies. These efforts were directed at three subsystems with the overall fendering design: approach walls, lock corner protection, and lock wall protection. Requirements for each fender subsystem were developed to meet the wide range of vessel types and sizes using the canal. The systems also operate in tidal changes of up to 7 m.
Fender System De-risks Transit Damage and Expense
Approximately 9,500 fender units of various types are required to protect vessels and structures in the new locks. Glosten’s concept designs, performance specifications, and peer reviews ensure that maritime practices are fully integrated into the lock structure details.
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