• aerial view of The Panama Canal
  • view of third bridge at the Panama Canal
  • Panama Canal rendering
  • aerial view of the third bridge in the Panama Canal
  • third bridge in the panama canal
  • excavator
  • workers standing on bay
  • workers with excavation equipment
New Panama Canal bridge to link key destinations

Panama, at the southern tip of Central America, is on the isthmus connecting North and South America. Plans for a canal in strategic Panama were pursued but abandoned by the king of Spain in 1534 and by Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps in 1888 before the United States completed the canal in 1914. It currently serves 17,000 ships and 300 million tons of cargo annually.

Challenge
Two bridges in Panama span the canal, but expansion of the world-renowned waterway called for the construction of a third bridge by 2016. The new bridge in Panama will link the key seaport of Colon to communities to the west of the canal.

Solution
Louis Berger, involved in designing the two existing Panama Canal bridges, was chosen to design the third bridge and access routes. The firm is working with the China Communications Construction Company/Highway Planning and Design Institute.

The new bridge will span the Atlantic Ocean entrance to the canal. It features a 1,050-meter dual carriageway, cable-stayed span. The 530-meter main span will be the longest concrete four-lane cable-stayed structure in the world. The lengths of the east and west approach roads and viaducts will be 2,031 meters.

By linking the two regions of Panama, the new bridge is expected to boost tourism, stimulate the local economy and help generate future development.