MWH Global to Provide Preliminary and Final Design Services for Gatun Lake Spillway

Posted: Friday 30th March 2012

Project supports navigation locks of the Panama Canal andwater supply and flood protection for Panama City.

MWH Global announced a $4.4 million (USD) contract with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to provide preliminary and final design services for a new Gatun Lake spillway. The spillway controls water levels of Gatun Lake, which in addition to providing water supply for Panama City and critical flood protection, is instrumental in the operation of the navigation locks of the Panama Canal.

MWH will design a new spillway to increase the outflow capacity of the existing spillway system, which the Canal wants to increase to manage the maximum expected flood. The nearly century-old spillway system is part of the Gatun Dam, which crosses the Chagres River to impound Gatun Lake.

“MWH is pleased bring our world-class expertise in spillway engineering and design to this project,” says Rex Bell, who leads MWH operations in Latin America. “Maximizing the effectiveness of the spillway is essential to assure the integrity and viability of the Panama Canal system, not only for the existing locks but for the new Third Set of Locks project of the Panama Canal expansion.”

As part of the preliminary design, MWH will identify plausible flood management solutions and develop corresponding conceptual designs and cost analysis. For the solution selected by ACP for implementation, MWH will develop the final design, including construction drawings and specifications, cost estimate and constructability recommendations. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

MWH brings an integrated global team to the project, including experts in Argentina, Panama and the U.S. In addition to this project, MWH is also working with ACP as lead technical designer of the new Post-Panamax navigation locks for the Third Set of Locks project of the Panama Canal expansion. When completed in 2014, the Third Set of Locks will double the canal’s capacity, providing significant benefits to the local, regional and global economies.

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