The first developer of the Panama Canal was a Frenchman, Ferdinand de Lesseps. The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is an artificial 82 km (51 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Panama Canal - Panama Canal - Canal traffic: Traffic through the Panama Canal is a barometer of world trade, rising in times of world economic prosperity and declining in times of recession. Long before the U.S. attempt at building the Panama Canal began in 1904, workers from around the world had been coming to the isthmus. In 2009, Currently 9,000 workers, mostly Panamanian, work at the Canal. This film shows the operation of the Panama Canal in 1919, five years after its completion and opening to ocean-going traffic. Jorge Quijano, leader of the Panama Canal Authority recently announced plans for a $17 billion project that would allow the Panama Canal to accommodate the world’s largest ships. Though the expansion project began in 2006 will come to completion next year, Panama isn’t done with expansion. They guide about 12-15 thousand ships a year to cross the isthmus. The Panama Canal Commission, made up both of Americans and Panamanian officials, prepares the Panamanians to operate and maintain the canal. The cargo carried through the canal that year amounted to more than 132.5 million long tons … In the early 1850s, the Panama Railroad Company imported thousands of African and Chinese workers to lay the tracks for the railway lines that would make the construction of the Panama Canal possible. 1881: Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps, who had directed the engineering of the Suez Canal, begins a $70 million project to build a canal through Panama. Building the Panama Canal, 1903–1914 President Theodore Roosevelt oversaw the realization of a long-term United States goal—a trans-isthmian canal. The Panama Canal is continuing to expand. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. It was conceived by King Charles V of Spain in the early 1500’s as a way to reduce the sailing time from Spain to Peru. After an intensive construction program (2009-2016), the Cocoli and Agua Clara Locks added a third lane to the Panama Canal for the transit of Neopanamax vessels. Panama Canal Authority crane ship Oceanus, navigates the Cocoli locks during a test of the newly expanded Panama Canal locks on Pacific side, in Cocoli, Panama, Monday, June 20, 2016. A canal across Panama would save incalculable miles and man-hours. The vessel passes by the Panamanian city of Colón on the Atlantic end of the canal and through the channel to Gatun Locks and into Gatún Lake. From a low of 807 transits in 1916, traffic rose to a high point of 15,523 transits of all types in 1970. The Panama Canal was a Spanish idea. 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