The U.S. excavated the pool to the left in 1940 when government officials were considering a plan to widen the canal. The project was abandoned when the U.S. entered World War II in 1941.
In December 1999 the U.S. ceded control of the canal to Panama on the condition that the waterway remain a neutral zone.
Today the Panama Canal Authority plans to widen and deepen the pool as part of a third set of locks at Miraflores to accommodate larger container ships.
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