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Panama Canal expansion 96% complete

Panama Canal expansion 96% complete
The Panama Canal Authority announced the expansion is 96% complete, and outlined the next steps in the project.

Locks reinforcements are scheduled to be completed mid-January, followed by testing of the locks reinforcements and other tests. In April, transit trial tests with a chartered vessel in the Atlantic locks are expected to take place.

A date for the expansion's inauguration will then be selected. This is expected to be in the second quarter of 2016. Subsequently, the commercial opening date will be chosen.

The opening will be soon after the inauguration.

'An expansion of the Panama Canal has never been done and we should all feel very good about where we are today,' Canal chief executive/administrator Jorge L. Quijano said. 'After a successful year, we look forward to being able to provide the benefits of the new Canal to our customers and the people of Panama.'

A video of recent progress is here.