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Contractors World International

Page 33

Contractors World International Vol 6 No 4

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Panama Canal Expansion

Locks Project

The Panama Canal expansion

is the largest project since its

original construction. At the cost

of $5.25 billion, the project will

create a new lane of traffic along

the 80 km long canal through the

construction of a new set of locks,

doubling the waterways capacity.

The Trevi Group analysed ap-

proximately 6000 linear meters

of soil (2,500 m Atlantic side and

3,500 m Pacific side) to determine

its geological and geotechnical

features. They also constructed

deep piles for locks, docks, and

bridges, including drilling 14,000

linear meters of ground with the

large diameter bored pile method,

mostly cased.

For these foundation works,

they depended on Soilmec medium-large hydraulic drill

rigs: SR-60, SR-70, R-825 and R-930.

Diaphragm walls are used as impermeable cutoffs to

prevent seepage below earth dams, basins, dry docks and

locks, and are usually integrated with the main structure.

Trevi Panama faced the challenge of building a plastic

concrete diaphragm wall to seal 9000 m²of soil. These dia-

phragm panels were executed using the Soilmec hydraulic

grab BH-8.

As part of the Third Set of Locks Panama Canal Expan-

sion Project, the Borinquen Dam will allow navigational

access through the Pacific Approach Channel to the new

Pacific Locks. Trevi Panama also drilled and injected an

injection curtain to guarantee a waterproof sealing of all

rock cracks in the foundation of the dam. Specifically, they

drilled 37,500 linear meters of soil and injected 2,200 tons

of cement in two lines in the foundation of the dam,

spaced 3 m from each other. They executed the injec-

tions using Soilmec micro-drilling rigs SM-8 and SM-5 and

Soilmec injection plants GS1 and GI ET8.

For the FCC-ICA-MECO consortium, Trevi Panama has

also drilled 95,000 m of soil and injected 4,000 tons of

grout to create a curtain of waterproofing for a 1,500 m

long dam on the PAC-4 project. PAC-4 - the most complex

expansion project after the design and build of the new

set of locks.

It will create an access channel linking the new Pacific

locks with the Canal's existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest

stretch of the Panama Canal). For these foundation works,

Trevi Panama also used the Soilmec micro-drilling rigs

SM-8 and SM-5 and the injection plants GS1 and GI ET8.