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The Panama Canal can be classified as the most prolific marvel in terms of transit across the sea despite having lasted for more than a century. Throughout its existence, it has been a shortcut for shipping services in the world and considered the pioneer of all mega movers.
Explanation on why it was so great
The difficulty associated with its construction leaves many people with the option of comparing it with landing on the moon and to some extent the fascination relinquished by the pyramids in Egypt. It was probably the biggest engagement encountered by engineers all over the world at the time and one of the phenomenon aspects is the ability to lift ships 85 meters above and below a mountain range, and the fact that it cuts through an entire country.
Geographical aspects of the Panama region
Owing to the above factors and the ability to materialize its dream, geographical implications of the area therefore come into the picture. Panama as country is located on the extreme east and is shaped as an S. in addition it has access to both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans with only 43 miles of land falling in between. There are places that experience the rise and fall of the sun on both sea shores in a country that forms the thinnest part of Central America with half of its land lying to the east of Miami.
French and Spanish problems in building the canal
The arrival of the French and their intent to build a canal across the area was met by ridicule from people who deemed it impossible. Work began but the French and their Spanish colleagues were set to meet the worst of circumstances. Having been a rain forest, the place was home to various species of living thing. They included Alligators, crocodiles and serpents which still exist in Gatun lake region today. The worst of all was the disease causing organisms in form of mosquitoes which carried with them the malaria epidemic. Other diseases like cholera, dysentery and typhoid also featured prominently to an extent of forcing important workers to flee the scene. 20,000 people were victims to the disease as it became clear that the French were not up to task in their mission. With little sophisticated equipment amidst acts of corruption and hullabaloo, the French were forced to withdraw and they sold the contract to the American making a loss of $247 million.
Americans efforts to solve the problem
The arrival of the Americans back in 1904 was poised to be more precise in regard to achievement as compared to the French. This was due to the upper hand they had over the French in terms of equipments and a more organized leadership. Their leadership included a corruption free setup and their native home was quite close. They were also supportive of using the rail transport to move excavated stuff and this was bound to be more effective. Their ability to completely wash away the yellow fever and to partly stop malaria marked the beginning of their success. Using 4,000 workers these diseases were bound to be a thing of the past. In 1907 they introduced over 30,000 workers from Barbados, Jamaica and the US which marked a big boost. The Americans later came up with a solution for the ever flooding Chagres River by creating a massive dam where ships could easily sail. Locks would then be used to lift ships to the same level as the lake.
What the canal looks like today
Present day Panama Canal still stands out and one is would never comprehend the kind of test it posed to engineers back then. This is evident from a transit system that is so magnificent and the ease with which ships do business on the canal. The many tales about dismay in the area are no longer relevant due to the beauty of the park environment surrounding the canal. In conclusion, the $387 million dollar project is probably the biggest representation of engineering prowess in early 20th century. Many happenings have since come to pass since then but the building of the canal still stands out.