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Touring the upgraded Panama Canal

During the day at least nine vessels will make their way through the canal.


Link to Panama Canal Tour Video


With Thursday being the final day of the international Latin America Ports Forum in Panama, executives with the Port of Corpus Christi and other dignitaries got a close-up tour of the latest improvements to the Panama Canal lock system.

The improvements will translate to more opportunities at Corpus Christi port and more jobs as well.

"We"ve never looked back, and that's been our story for the last couple of years, and that's what's propelled us to be the 4th largest port in the united states in total tonnage," Sean Strawbridge said.

The day began with Strawbridge telling the attendees that not only is the Corpus Christi port the nation's number one exporter of energy around the world but that the market share will increase even more.

As more natural gas pipelines from the Permian basin get built and go online, that will be an infusion of roughly $39 billion per year, to the economy of Texas and the rest of the country.

Thousands of good paying jobs would be a natural offshoot of all the growth.

For the delegation of Texans, this was the final stop on this three-day adventure a chance to see the newly expanded lock system on the southern end of the Panama Canal they call it Cocoli.

During the day at least nine vessels will make their way through the canal.

Paying about a million dollars each for the right to use this shortcut the system has been the same since 1914 when the canal first opened water from a nearby lake.

Lake Gatun is fed into the canals making the water rise which is "lifting" the vessels over the 48-mile landmass between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans an alternative would be to cut a pathway through the rocky terrain somehow.

"I want to help educate the Texas legislature on the need for us to get better support for our Texas ports because it's really a shame for us for those products to pass us by. Going to other ports in the united states because we don't have the capacity or ability to receive or export those goods," Representative Joe Deshotel said.

The replacing of the old Harbor Bridge with a taller one and some forward-thinking from people in Panama will continue to bridge the gap between the east and west.


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