Contributed by: Don WinnerMaritime Global Net - PANAMA CITY, Panama, September 3, 2008 – On September 3, 2007, Panamanian President Martín Torrijos, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and several former and current heads of state witnessed and celebrated the historic groundbreaking of the Canal Expansion Program. Expansion, which will build a new lane of traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set of locks, will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships. In addition, it will significantly augment the Canal’s revenue stream while maintaining the viability of the route. That September morning, joined by more than 30,000 Panamanians, the ACP kicked off its first major construction project of expansion – the dry excavation of Paraiso Hill. The project will ultimately help create the new Pacific locks access channel that will connect the Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal) and the area where the new Pacific locks will be built. Today, one year later, the ACP celebrates the achievements of all those who have contributed to the Expansion Program and looks forward to the future with optimism and great anticipation.