The Purpose of Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel, whether you’re sailing through it on a cruise ship or just pausing to watch ships pass through the Mira Flores locks in Panama City as per USA Wire. The canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, avoiding the need for ships to circumnavigate South America. In 2016, a new series of locks was opened, allowing even larger ships to transit through the canal.


After a failed attempt by France in the 1800s to create a canal through the Isthmus of Panama, the United States began construction in 1904. Approximately 25,000 laborers moved more than one million cubic yards of soil each day during the canal’s construction. In 1914, the canal was completed. Visit the museum connected to the viewing platform at the Mira Flores locks, a short drive from downtown Panama City, to learn more about the canal’s history as per the information available on USA Wire news. Ticket costs include admission to the museum as well as a screening of a film.

You’ll learn more about the canal’s construction, the impact it had on Panama, the United States, and the rest of the world, as well as witness the local flora and fauna. Book a tour with one of the various Travel Groups; their tour guides are extremely educated and can provide information that goes beyond what the wonderful museum has to offer.


Shippers of commercial items, ranging from vehicles to grain, can save time and money by transferring cargo between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans more swiftly thanks to the canal. Before the canal’s completion, ships traveling between New York and San Francisco had to circumnavigate Cape Horn, South America’s southernmost point. This 67-day journey covered 12,000 miles. Approximately 8,000 miles were removed from the journey after the canal was constructed. The canal takes between eight and ten hours to cross. Prior to the Spanish-American War in 1898, Theodore Roosevelt was interested in developing a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After the United States won the war and took control of Puerto Rico. The Philippines, and Guam, he grew more interested in the canal. He desired a more direct path for navy ships passing between the two oceans.

Following failed negotiations with Colombia, which at the time had Panama under its control, the United States sent funding and a naval blockade in support of Panama’s revolution as reported on republican news sources. The newly established Panama ceded the canal rights to the United States for $10 million in 1903. Until 1999, when all US military stations in Panama were closed. The US military had a substantial presence in the Panama Canal Zone. Military water vessels are still transported through the canal.

International Exposition

The Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Held in San Francisco in 1915. Commemorated the completion of the Panama Canal as well as the city’s rehabilitation from a terrible earthquake in 1906. While it was not the canal’s original goal, it was hoped that its completion would result in improving international relations. The exhibition was inspired by the canal’s symbolism, which includes the linking of East. West as well as the prospective chances for countries that would benefit from increased trade.


Panamax ships are cargo ships design to fit through the Panama Canal’s 110-foot-wide locks. Shippers are now building larger vessels to transport larger cargo loads, and these post-Panamax ships are too enormous to pass via the old canal. This, combined with traffic congestion at the canal, which can cause ships to be delayed for up to a week, necessitated the canal’s expansion. In 2016, new locks were completed, doubling the canal’s capacity and allowing free flow of traffic while accepting larger cargo vessels. From the Mira Flores viewing platforms, you can see both lanes; mornings have more traffic than afternoons.

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