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Sill reinforcements in the new locks at the Panama Canal were completed last week, bringing the massive, multi-year canal expansion project one step closer to completion, Panama Canal Authority (ACP) officials said in a press release.
The filling of the Pacific Ocean-facing Cocoli Locks is now underway, and the filling of the Atlantic Ocean-facing Agua Clara Locks began on Feb. 5. Once the locks are filled, the sills will undergo testing.
"Every day, we move closer to completion," said ACP Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Jorge Quijano. "But the key for us, as it has always been, is to do so in a way that maintains the highest standards are met, ensuring Canal operations for the next 101 years and more."
Less than 4 percent remains to complete the Panama Canal Expansion Program, which ACP officials expect to be finished in the second quarter. Last month, Panama President Juan Carlos Varela said he expected the project to be completed "around the month of May."