Problems building the panama canal
Panama canal | history and facts | پانامہ کینال
The Suez Canal in Egypt enabled mariners to circumnavigate Africa without having to go around the Cape of Good Hope, transforming shipping as far as Singapore. The builder of the Suez Canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps, saw a canal across Central America as having similar potential for shortening the journey across South America via Cape Horn. But he was in for a rude awakening.
What went wrong with Ferdinand de Lesseps? It may be as simple as not listening to one’s children. Charles cautioned his father not to make the mistake of confusing Panama with Suez, where diplomatic ties were good and the terrain was well-known. De Lesseps advertised for the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique in the French press, but the initial public offering only raised 8% of the necessary funds. Charles tried once again to persuade his father to stop. Then Ferdinand made the fatal error of visiting Panama during the dry season, a mistake he made out of hope.
Projects may fail, but rights and permits live on, as was the case with the construction contract that granted France building rights until 1903. However, after the costly de Lesseps debacle, the French were no longer interested in the overseas canal. As a result, discreet inquiries were made.
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Dealing with the tropical diseases that were widespread in the region was one of the most difficult challenges that the Panama Canal builders faced. The canal’s construction success was largely due to the health precautions taken during construction. This included general health care, the development of a strong health system, and a large-scale initiative to eliminate disease-carrying mosquitoes from the region.
The Isthmus of Panama was infamous for tropical diseases by the time the United States took charge of the Panama Canal project on May 4, 1904. During the building of the Panama Railway, an estimated 12,000 workers died, and over 22,000 died during the French attempt to create a canal. 1st Many of these people died as a result of diseases like yellow fever and malaria. Construction on the Panama Railway had to be suspended many times due to a shortage of safe staff.
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President Ulysses S. Grant also creates the Inter-Oceanic Canal Commission (IOCC) and dispatches an expedition to explore canal routes. Grant would keep the concept of a canal in the forefront of his presidency as he explores a quicker shipping path between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
A 100-man US investigative team searches Panama, which was then part of the Republic of Colombia, for a viable canal route. They claim a Panama canal will be too costly, so they suggest a canal in Nicaragua with 12 locks on each end and 10 miles of aqueducts to carry water to the summit level.
The French government accepts Ferdinand de Lesseps’ proposal for a sea-level canal two years after a French team completes their own survey of Panama. The price tag is expected to be around 1.2 billion Swiss francs ($240 million).
De Lesseps arrives in the Panama region with exclusive rights from Colombia and starts construction. The design calls for a 40-meter-high dam at Gamboa to keep the Chagres River at bay, as well as a 24-meter-wide path through the Culebra Cut.
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The Panama Canal, which spans 50 miles across the Isthmus of Panama and connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Caribbean, has been hailed as one of the twentieth century’s engineering marvels.
The history, on the other hand, can be traced back to the 16th century, when Charles I of Spain ordered the first survey of a possible canal. However, it would be more than three decades before the first canal was attempted in 1880 by the French, who worked for 20 years before being derailed by disease and costs.
Theodore Roosevelt then concluded a treaty with Panama in 1903, and the US took over the huge building project. Digging through the Continental Divide, building the largest earth dam, the most massive canal locks, and the largest gates ever envisioned, and addressing immense environmental problems were just a few of the daunting engineering challenges the project directors faced. American John F. Stevens is credited with overcoming these difficulties by constructing an unprecedented 50-mile-long chain of locks, reservoirs, and channels, as well as excavating the canal with a large steam shovel and a complex rail system.