American Experience

Building the Locks

Clip: Season 23 | 2m 7s

In all, approximately 5 million bags and barrels of concrete went into building the Panama Canal's locks, dams, and spillways. The locks were engineered to be hollow and water tight, making them buoyant, so that the weight and pressure on the hinges would be significantly reduced. The locks at Gatun were 80 feet high, completely powered by electricity generated by a nearby hydroelectric spillway.

Aired: 01/24/11

Rating: NR

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