Photo Gallery: Panama Canal Expands

Photo Gallery: Panama Canal Expands
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The Panama Canal is a 50-mile-long (80.5-kilometer-long) structure that allows ships to cross between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans by cutting through the Isthmus of Panama, as seen in the map above.

The canal's locks are filled with fresh water to raise ships above sea level and allow them to sail across. Each time a ship passes through a lock, an average of 55 million gallons (190 million liters) of fresh water are drained into the sea.

Although the new locks in the expanded canal will be deeper and wider, officials say they will use 7 percent less water and will keep water in the canal using a series of specially designed basins.

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—Graphic © Panama Canal Commission/AP
 
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