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Panama Canal Factoids

  • More than four and half million cubic yards of concrete went into the construction of the Panama Canal's locks and dams?
  • If the material originally excavated to build the Canal were put on a train of flat cars, it would encircle the earth four times.
  • A total of 101 steam shovels, 369 locomotives, 6,163 railroad cars, 9 track shifters, 26 earth spreaders, 20 dredges, 553 drills and 51 cranes, as well as numerous other equipment, were used in the building of the Canal.
  • The steam shovel gangs competed to see which could excavate the most dirt each month.
  • The mean (average) sea level for the Atlantic and Pacific is virtually the same? But that because the tidal variation at the Pacific entrance can be up to 18 feet, a sea level canal would be faced with the problem of a current running northbound when the Pacific tide was high and a current running southbound when the tide was low.
  • Because of the reclining "S" shape of the Isthmus of Panama the sun rises from the Pacific and sets in the Atlantic.
  • The lock gates are seven feet thick.
  • In the record-breaking month of March 1912, 3,217 trains hauling 65,555 cars carried dirt out of Gaillard Cut.
  • Approximately 4 percent of the world's cargo passes through the Panama Canal.
  • Theodore Roosevelt became the first President in office to visit a foreign country while on an inspection tour of the Panama Canal on 15 November 1906.

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