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Expansion Image of the Week: Paraiso Hill is Rapidly Disappearing

Date: 15-MAY-2008

EXPANSION WORK AT THE CANAL CONTINUES TO BRING DOWN THE HILL FROM ITS ORIGINAL 136 METERS HEIGHT

PANAMA CITY, Panama, May 15, 2008 - Paraiso (Paradise) Hill, located north of the Pedro Miguel Locks in the Canal's Pacific side, has been excavated from its original 136 meters height to an average of 70 meters.

Each week, thousands of cubic meters of material are extracted from Paraiso Hill; to date, 18 blastings have taken place since September 2007 to make the reduction possible.

The goal for the first phase of dry excavation for the new Pacific locks access channel is to reduce the hill to 46 meters, at which point the third phase of dry excavation will begin to further reduce the hill to 30 meters. The second phase of dry excavation for the Pacific access channel is already underway (south of Paraiso Hill).

The completion of the first and third phases of dry excavation, which will remove Paraiso Hill and allow for further excavation and dredging, are essential elements in the creation of the new (6.7 Km long) Pacific access channel. This new channel will link a new, third set of locks on the Pacific end of the Canal with the existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal).

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP's Web site: http://www.pancanal.com/.


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