Flipping Book | The new Panama Canal | Salini Impregilo Library

98 Those traveling along the Canal navigate on Gatun Lake for about 18 miles: almost half the entire route. The Gatun is to all effects a huge highway 85 feet above sea level, but it also rep- resents the water reservoir that allows the locks to function. The lake is man-made: it was filled between 1907 and 1913, after the Chagres River was dammed just a few miles before it flowed into the Atlantic. Actually, for many years it was the largest man-made lake in the world, before the advent of the great dams of the world shattered any record it may have held: it is still one of the most impressive of them all. These days about 15,000 ships, both freight and passenger ships, navigate Gatun Lake (and the Canal) every year. During cruise season, between October and April, over 230 large ships sail through carrying tourists across the blue heart of Panama.