Miraflores Locks Elevate the Panama Canal's Ships

May 11, 2012
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Although not the most natural of attractions in Central America, the Miraflores Locks are still an important part of society in Panama and have important implications there. It is hard to imagine a time before the Panama Canal, even though it was not too long ago that it was dug out. Finished in the early 20th century, it forever changed the face of shipping in North and South America. Locks are a crucial aspect of the canal, lifting ships up 85 feet to the main elevation of the canal. At the time, they were the greatest works of engineering ever to be undertaken, along with the other ingenious solutions those who worked on the canal came up with. The Miraflores Locks are one aspect of the canal that offer several interesting mechanisms to improve the ease of transporting cargo while also saving water.

The Miraflores Locks comprise a two-step set of locks on the Pacific side of the canal. Each lock chamber except for the lower locks has a set of intermediate gates. This allows smaller ships to pass through, reducing the size of the chamber and conserving water.


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