Panama Canal Third Set of Locks


Panama City and Colon, Panama
Client: Grupo Unidos por el Canal S.A. (GUPC)
Owner: Panamá Canal Authority

Fall Line, d.b.a., Fall Line Testing & Inspection Panama S. de R.L., is performed third party independent testing services related to the construction of the new set of locks, both on the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the Panama Canal.

Fall Line operated two testing laboratories in Panama (Cocoli on the Pacific side and Colon on the Atlantic) under stringent ISO 17025:2005 accreditation standards.  At the peak of the project, Fall Line’s staff consisted of 8 expats and 77 Panamanian nationals providing 24-hour full site coverage.  The project required nearly 5.8 million cubic yards of varying types of concrete including marine, mass, dental, pervious, and plastic concrete and Fall Line casted around 400,000 concrete test cylinders.  All concrete constituents were sampled and extensively tested including cement, pozzolan, silica fume and the over 11 million tons of aggregate crushed on site.  Over 10.5 million cubic yards of structural fill were used to construct three earthfill dams and around 26 million cubic yards of rockfill and earthfill were used to build cofferdams and to backfill the new locks.  Fall Line took and processed more than 40,000 samples of the rock and earthfill materials throughout the course of the project.

Fall Line conducted testing services to ensure the quality of the materials before, during, and after placement.  Fall Line also performed concrete durability testing to help ensure that the Panama Canal Third Set of Locks can withstand the test of time.  Extensive soils, grout, and mortar testing, plus concrete plant calibration support, concrete plant performance checks, and crusher trial services were also provided in support of the project.  Fall Line presented test result summaries and analysis on a regular basis both in presentations to the owner and in monthly reports.