MWH will design a new spillway to increase the outflow capacity of the existing spillway system, in order to manage the maximum expected flood. The nearly century-old spillway system is part of the Gatun Dam, which crosses the Chagres River to impound Gatun Lake, and is instrumental in the operation of the navigation locks of the Panama Canal.

“MWH is pleased to bring our world-class expertise in spillway engineering and design to this project,” said Rex Bell, who leads MWH operations in Latin America. “Maximizing the effectiveness of the spillway is essential to assure the integrity and viability of the Panama Canal system, not only for the existing locks but for the new Third Set of Locks project of the Panama Canal expansion.”

As part of the preliminary design, MWH will identify plausible flood management solutions and develop corresponding conceptual designs and cost analysis. For the solution selected by ACP for implementation, MWH will develop the final design, including construction drawings and specifications, cost estimate and constructability recommendations. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

MWH brings an integrated global team to the project, including experts in Argentina, Panama and the US. In addition to this project, MWH is also working with ACP as lead technical designer of the new Post-Panamax navigation locks for the Third Set of Locks project of the Panama Canal expansion. When completed in 2014, the Third Set of Locks will double the canal’s capacity, providing significant benefits to the local, regional and global economies.