Panama Canal was opened on August 15, 1914. France began work on the canal in 1881 but stopped due to a high worker mortality rate. The U.S. took over the project in 1904.
Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in 1914, when the canal opened, to 815,000 vessels in 2012.
“What everyone should know. Canal Statistics.
Length of Canal: 50,5 miles
Culebra cut depth: 300 feet.
Locks in pairs: 12
Locks usable length: 1000 feet
… width 110 feet
Excavation estimated total: 174.666.596 cubic yards
… by french useful: 29.908.000 cubic yards
Concrete total estimate: 5.000.000 cubic yards
Time of transit through canal: 10 to 12 hours.
Canal force actually at work: 39.000
Canal Company formed by the French – 1879
… work began – 1881.
Eight years work cost: $300.000.000
Work began by U.S. May 4, 1904
The U.S. paid French Canal Company: $40.000.000
The U.S. paid Republic of Panama: $10.000.000
Cost of Canal Total Over $375.000.000
Date of Completion: January 1st, 1915
Shortening of route New York City to San Francisco: 8415 miles
A yearly saving of millions to the shipping world.”