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DIGGING THE GAILLARD CUT, PANA-
More has been heard of the Gaillard Cut than
any other single point along the Canal. This cut
was formerly called the Culebra Cut, but the offi-
cial name now is that given above. It was here
that most of the digging had to be done in build-
ing the Canal, and it is in the Gaillard Cut that
slides have taken place so as to stop traffic
through the Canal for months. It is in this sec-
tion that future difficulties are likely to be met,
for the earth so lies that the pressure of the
mountains drives it toward the Canal.
Look at the map of the Western Hemisphere.
You will observe that a great mountain system
runs from Alaska to Chile. The Rocky Moun-
tains and the Andes are parts of this system of
mountains. These mountains run through Pan-
ama. The Gaillard Cut is the place where the
SPanama Canal crosses them. The bottom of the
Canal in the Gaillard Cut is the lowest place in
Lat. 9 N.; Long. 800 W.
the mountain system from Alaska to Chile.
To cut through the mountains was a great task.
In places the cut is 500 feet deep. The channel
of the Canal here is 300 feet wide. But as you
see great stretches of the hill had to be taken off
to keep the dirt and rocks from sliding into the
channel. The entire length of the cut is 9 miles.
But its deep parts are only 2 or 3 miles long.
Almost one half the total digging the Ameri-
cans did on the Canal was done in Gaillard Cut.
About o16,ooo,ooo cubic yards of dirt and stone
were taken out. Each cubic yard weighed about
36oo pounds. Since this was taken out millions
of tons have slid into the Canal. To clear the
channel after one large slide, and to protect the
Canal from other slides, 1o,ooo,ooo cubic yards
of material were removed.
TVhv is the Panama Canal valuable to us?
Copyright by The Keystone View Company.