The Panama Canal Essay Research Paper The — страница 3

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William L. Silbert, Joseph C.S. Blackburn, Rear Adm. Harry H. Rousseau, Joseph Bucklin Bishop, Lt. Col. Harry F. Hodges, Col. William C. Gorgas, and Lt. Col. David D. Gaillard. [2 McCullough 332] This was the governing body of the construction and other task like public health. [2McCullough 332] The construction task involved three major engineering jobs. The builders had to excavate the Gaillard Cut, build a dam across the Chagres River to create Gatun Lake, and build the canal’s locks. The biggest job was digging the Gaillard Cut;: The hills through which the cut runs consist of a soft volcanic material, and digging into them was like digging into a pile of grain. As soon as workers dug a hole, more rock and earth would slide into the space, or push up from below. The

engineers had originally expected to remove about 95 million cubic yards of earth and rock to build the canal. The actually dug out about 211 million cubic yards. Some of this was later used in the construction of the Gatun Dam. [2 McCullough 351] Most of the digging was done by massive 95 ton steam-powered cranes. Each of the locks was about as high as a six story building with the flood pipes being18 feet in diameter. The ground was very uneven and hard to cut over or around. There was a 85 foot difference between the top of the locks to the sea level. Massive ditches were cut in order to house the enormous ships that would be passing throught the canal. There were many systems of railroads inthe canal during construction for visitos like the President and for ease of

transportation of the workers. Everything was operated and still is by a hydro-electric plant a eletric switch room. [2 McCullough 355-368] At the height of the work in 1913, more than 43,400 people worked on the Panama Canal. Three-fourths were blacks from the British West Indies, the rest were 6 from Italy, Spain, and the skilled clerical workers came from the United States. [St. George 90-98] The canal was ultimately made up of 6 locks, 2 lakes, and the Gaillard Cut. the Gatun lake was deepen so that a ship sould pass right throught without any locks. [St. Goerge 102] “The first ship to pass through the canal was a passenger-cargo ship named the S.S. Ancon on August 15, 1914.” [Cameron 200] A giant landslide in the Gaillard Cut closed the canal for a few months in 1915-16.

It was the last major interruption in the final completion of the Panama Canal. [Jorden 412] “President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the Panama Canal open on July 20, 1920.” [St. George 119] The final product cost about $400 million which includes $40 million paid to the French, $10 million to Panama, and $20 million for sanitation. [Jorden 414] “Since 1903 the United States has invested about $3 billion in the Canal enterprise, approximately two-thirds of which has been recovered.” [Netscape 1] The canal was built so that a ship can pass either way. Since the official opening in 1920, there have been no major repairs done at all on the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal truly made real it’s slogan: “The Land Divided, the World United.” [Jorden 440] Bibliography

Cameron, Ian. The Impossible Dream: The Building of the Panama Canal, New York, Sam Fox Publishing Co. Inc., 1965 Jorden, William J. Panama Odyssey, Austin, Texas, University of Texas Press, 1984 1. McCullough, David G. American Heritage, A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama! October 1976, pgs. 65-71, 100-103 2. McCullough, David G. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal: 1870-1914, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1977 Netscape. Panama Canal Commission, “Panama Canal History,” St. George, Judith. Panama Canal: Gateway to the World, Winnipeg, Canada, Anchor Publishing, 1989 328