The government of Canada has announced an investment worth over CAD170m ($131.2m) to protect and preserve Parks Canada’s five historic canals in Quebec.Parks Canada, an agency of the government of Canada that is operated by the Minister of the Environment, will use the funding for projects including reconstruction work on the walls of the Lachine Canal, on the lock of the Carillon Canal, and on the locks and bridges of the Chambly Canal.The investment will be used to upgrade and reconstruct heritage buildings such as the Chambly Canal superintendent’s house and to construct structures that preserve biodiversity, such as the Vianney-Legendre Fish Ladder on the Saint‑Ours Canal. Further, service areas and footpaths will be constructed for the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal.Minister of environment and climate change Catherine McKenna said: “Through this significant investment, our government is protecting and preserving these treasured places, while supporting local economies, contributing to growth in the tourism sector, and enhancing the charm and attractiveness of these heritage sites.“I encourage Canadians to visit and experience Parks Canada’s special places and to enjoy the outdoors, while learning about our rich history and heritage.”
The multi-billion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal is set to open on 26 June 2016.The project includes expansion of the 50-mile long waterway to manage increased levels of traffic and bigger cargo ships. Work involves construction of two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean sides, excavation for new entrance channels to the new locks, widening and deepening the existing channels, as well as raising the water level of Gatun Lake.The project, which began in 2007, was initially scheduled to be completed in October 2014. It has however been delayed owing to construction, labour, and legal issues, as well as discovery of fissures in one of the widened locks.Work on the expansion is currently 97% complete.Panama Canal Authority CEO Jorge Quijano said: "The dream of expansion will become a reality when we inaugurate the biggest infrastructure project in the history of the Canal and the country of Panama."
As delays in projects go, being held up by almost 350 years is a big one. The idea of building a shipping canal across Thailand’s Kra Isthmus, reducing the usual trade route for ships between the Indian and Pacific oceans by more than 1,200km, was first mooted in 1677. However, despite the proposal resurfacing in the 20th century, fears over the environmental impact and the potential for it to divide the country have held it back. Now, the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) has put forward the idea of a ‘dry canal’ to carry ships across the south of Thailand, from Kra Buri to Chumpon Bay in the Gulf of Thailand, bypassing the Malacca Strait.