Skip to main content
Home Asia Europe U.S. World Business Tech Science Entertainment Sport Travel Weather Specials Video I-Reports

The day in numbers: $5.25 billion

Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

(CNN) -- Voters have overwhelmingly approved the largest modernization plan in the 92-year history of the Panama Canal, backing a $5.25 billion expansion that will allow the world's largest ships to squeeze through the shortcut between the seas. The following are some facts about the plan.

78 percent: The number of Panamanians who voted in favor of the expansion.

$5.25 billion: The cost of the overhaul which will allow the canal to handle modern container ships, cruise liners and tankers that are too large for its current 108-foot-wide locks. The plan is to build a third set of locks on the Pacific and Atlantic ends by 2015.

40,000: The expansion is expected to generate as many as 40,000 construction jobs. The canal currently employs 8,000 workers.

92: The age of the Panama Canal. It was handed over to Panama by the United States in 1999.

25,000: Tropical diseases such as typhoid, malaria and yellow fever killed more than 25,000 canal workers during the original construction.

80 percent: About 80 percent of the gross domestic product of Panama, with a population of three million, is linked directly or indirectly to canal activity. The canal's main users are the United States, China and Japan.

$6 billion: Expansion will be paid for by increasing tolls and take in more than $6 billion annually in revenue by 2025.

9.5 percent: Unemployment in Panama is 9.5 percent, and 40 percent of the country lives in poverty.

10 hours: It takes eight to 10 hours to cross the Isthmus of Panama via the 80-kilometer (50-mile) canal. But the actual average time, including the wait, is 26 hours.

The third lane, parallel to the existing two, would accommodate massive vessels 366 meters (1,200 feet) in length, 49 meters (160 feet) wide and with a 15-meter (50-foot) draft. Today, the so-called post-Panamax ships -- too wide and too long for the Panama Canal -- must circle Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America to pass between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.


The canal was handed over to Panama by the United States in 1999.


Voters approve canal expansion  (1:02)



Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
CNN TV How To Get CNN Partner Hotels Contact Us Ad Info About Us Preferences
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
SERVICES » E-mail RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNN Mobile CNN Pipeline
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more