Knowing your history is beneficial to most, if not everyone who is fascinated with waterways. One of the most renown canals that people are always quick to remember about is the famous Panama Canal, otherwise call – Canal de Panamá. The Panama Canal is an artificial waterway located in Panama which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. The rationale behind building the Panama Canal was to reduce the time vessels would use to get to and from the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, by taking longer routes. The Panama Canal creates an avenue for global trade, while fostering integration and cohesion among both developed and third-world countries.
“Hailed as one of the great achievements of the 20th Century, the Panama Canal connects 160 countries and 1,700 ports around the world – History.com”. The Panama Canal is more than just a unique physical structure; it is crucial to world trade and economic development. Thanks to engineers of the French company headed by Ferdinand, viscount de Lesseps, that initiated the creation of the Canal. The building process which began in 1881, but failed 1889, made it possible for the United States of America to get involved in commenting the final structure of the Canal which today is beneficial to every country.
Wayne D. Bray describe the physical features of the canal distinctly. In doing that, he wrote that: “The Panama Canal lies at a latitude of 9° N, at a point where the North American Continental Divide dips to one of its lowest points. The canal does not, as is generally supposed, cross the isthmus from east to west. It runs due south from its entrance at Colón on the Atlantic side through the Gatún Locks to a point in the widest portion of Gatún Lake; it then turns sharply toward the east and follows a course generally to the southeast until it reaches the Bay of Panama, on the Pacific side. Its terminus near Balboa is some 25 miles (40 km) east of its terminus near Colón. Parallel to the canal are the Panama Canal Railway and the Boyd-Roosevelt Highway”.