Panama Canal

/perch/resources/Products/lbfoster2.jpg Borinquen Dam - Panama Canal Expansion Borinquen Dam - Panama Canal Expansion
/perch/resources/Products/panamacanalcofferdam.jpg Expanded Port Access Expanded Port Access

Experienced L.B. Foster personnel managed the truck, rail and ocean transportation of 17,000 tons of piling to Panama

L.B. Foster provided approximately 17,000 tons of steel sheet piling to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) for use in the Panama Canal Expansion Project. PS-31 flat sheets and PZC-26 Z-type sheet piling manufactured by L.B. Foster’s strategic partner, Gerdau, were purchased directly by ACP to minimize project lead time. The material was pre-staged for later use to construct an over 5,900 ft combination cellular/Z pile cofferdam for the landmark Pacific Access Channel and Borinquen Dam.

L.B. Foster personnel managed the truck, rail and ocean transport from steel mills in the United States via the MIT terminal in Colon to a staging area adjacent to the Pedro Miguel Locks on the Pacific side of the canal. The successful logistics required to move 17,000 tons of steel sheet piling from plants in Virginia and Texas across the isthmus of Panama required the best efforts of professionals on the L.B. Foster/Gerdau team.

This extraordinary project includes the construction of 58 closed cell sheet pile cellular cofferdams for the Borinquen Dam. The sheet piling is being installed as a base for the dam to elevate and separate the new Pacific Access Channel from the existing Canal. The water level of the new channel will be 9 meters above the current Canal between Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks.

Expansion Contract Logistics

  • 161 Rail Cars

  • 4 Ocean Going Vessels

  • 880 Truck Loads Cleared Through Customs

  • Material Professionally Staged On Site, On Time

Project Scope:  58 Cellular Cofferdams


  • PS31 A572 Grade 65

  • PZC 26 A572 Grade 50

Total of 16,995 tons or 10,679 pieces

Key Logistics

  • PZC 26 Manufactured at Gerdau's Petersburg, VA Facility

  • PS 31 Manufactured at Gerdau's Midlothian, TX Facility

  • Sheets Shipped by Rail to Port of Houston

  • Sheets Transferred by Gulf Stream Marine from Rail Cars to Vessel

  • Intermarine Provided Ocean Freight from Houston to Colon, Panama

  • Material Arrived in Colon at Manzunillo International Terminal (MIT)

  • Sheet Piling Offloaded to MIT Storage Yard

  • Material Transferred to Stretch Truck Trailers by ICONSA

  • ICONSA Transports Sheet Piling from MIT to ACP Storage Location

  • ICONSA Offloads and Stacks Material at Final Laydown Area


Panama Canal

New state-of-the-art locks, wider channels and deepening of the existing waterway provides access for ultra-large intermodal ships

Post-Panamax Vessels Require Ongoing Expanded Port Access

A sustained increase in international trade has created new demand for efficient transportation and necessitated an historic event, the expansion of the Panama Canal. This project set the stage for the United States to meet future transportation needs by providing access at major port facilities for larger deeper draft vessels and the ever growing volume of cargo on the Caribbean and Atlantic seaboard. The Panama Canal expansion presents many new challenges and opportunities for growth. The U.S. is challenged with plans for infrastructure improvements that will optimize its intermodal system route to allow accessibility and improve operations in our ports for the increased traffic generated by the Canal’s $5.3B investment.

New state-of-the-art locks, wider channels and deepening of the existing waterway provides access for ultra-large intermodal ships traveling directly from Asia to the United States East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, rather than unloading containers on the West Coast and continuing freight by rail or truck across the United States. The larger freighters known as Post-Panamax vessels, have 2.5 times the cargo capacity of the current container ships that navigate the Canal. 

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