The Panama Canal Authority has announced 96% complete expansion, and outlined the project's next steps.
Locks reinforcements are scheduled for completion mid-January, followed by tests of the locks reinforcements. In April 2016, transit trial tests with a chartered ship in the Atlantic locks are taking place.
A date for the inauguration of the expansion will be selected. It is expected to be in the 2nd quarter of 2016. Subsequently, a commercial opening date will be announced. The opening will be right after the inauguration.
'An expansion of the Panama Canal has never been done and we should all feel very good about where we are today,' Canal chief executive/administrator Jorge L. Quijano said. 'After a successful year, we look forward to being able to provide the benefits of the new Canal to our customers and the people of Panama.'