Major Construction Work Not to Interrupt Panama Canal
The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, May 21, 1954.—No interruption of transits through the Panama Canal is foreseen during the removal by controlled blasting of some 2,350,000 cubic yards of rock now considered a threat to the continued operation of the waterway.
The rock is located on the Canal side of Contractor’s Hill on the west bank, at the narrowest point, Gaillard Cut. Bottom width of the channel here is only 300 feet.
Apprehension has arisen lately that a large portion of Contractor’s Hill, rising some 415 feet above the surface of the water, may split from the remainder of the hill and fall into the channel of the waterway.
If this thould happen, the Panama Canal would be closed to traffic for an extended time. At least a year, engineers state.
In 1938, a crack in the rock composing this hill was noted. Measurements taken at intervals disclose that this extended crack had widened about seven inches in the intervening years.