Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2011.
A containership of the Hamburg Sud shipping line completes the transit through the Gaillard Cut, the part of the Panama Canal that slices through the Continental Divide. The ship mostly carries empty containers, likely originating from the American East Coast and bound back to Asia. In the background is the Centennial Bridge, which opened in 2004 and offers an additional crossing over the canal in addition to the Bridge of the Americas, which was opened in 1962. Originally named Culebra (snake) Cut for the nature of its curves, it was renamed for Col. David DuBose Gaillard, the engineer who supervised its construction. The Cut is approximately 12.8 kilometers long and, during the 1960s, was widened from its original 91.5 meters to 152.4 meters. The Gaillard Cut was further widened in 2015 to increase the canal capacity and facilitate vessel transit scheduling. After crossing the Gaillard Cut, ships enter the Pedro Miguel Locks and the Miraflores Locks.