Enlarging Panama Canal is engineers' chance of lifetime

Sunday, September 18 2005 @ 03:48 PM UTC

Contributed by: Don Winner

To the world, the Panama Canal is a 51-mile long wonder slicing between two continents, carved by American ingenuity, money and mettle. To engineer Andy Harkness, of Bethel Park, it's a passageway to dreams; a reason to pore over drawings for 11 hours a day, seven days a week for three months straight; a reason to battle through pneumonia while fretting over the potential effects of an earthquake or runaway freighter. Harkness is among a team of local engineers anxiously waiting to see whether Panama, which took over control of the canal in 1999, will approve adding a third set of locks, a project that would cost $5 billion to $10 billion and take 10 years to complete. Voters in Panama are expected to decide the issue next year. See: http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/pittsburgh/s_375254.html

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