Third Locks Continued:

The Land Divided - A History of the Panama Canal and Other Isthmian Canal Projects, by Gerstle Mack, 1944

I had to add these paragraphs from the end of Chapter 46:

          The final decision to build a new set of locks at Panama was dictated almost wholly by strategic considerations.  Commercially the existing two-lane canal is more than adequate and with probably remain so for the next tow or three decades at least even if a few exceptionally large liners - which in any event would have no occasion to us the Panama route under normal peacetime conditions. - are unable to negotiate the transit.  In 1934 Governor Schley estimated the capacity of the canal with both lane operating 24 hours a day to be approximately three times the 26,410,000 tons passed that year.  But with war clouds gathering in Europe and Japan growing daily more aggressive the military necessity for canal expansion was becoming more and more obvious.
          On May 1, 1936 President Roosevelt approved a joint congressional resolution directing the governor of the canal to prepare designs, specifications, and estimate for additional locks.  Governor Ridley assigned the task to special engineering section headed by Edward S. Randolph and composed of technicians transferred from other divisions of the canal staff, supplemented by two geologists and a specialist in lock design.
          On February 24, 1939 Ridley submitted a special report proposing increases in the width and depth of the new locks and their location for additional security at some distance from the existing structures, with bypasses to connect them  with the main canal.  Congress adopted these recommendations and on August 11 authorized immediate construction of the third flight of locks.  At Gatun the now locks are situated on the east side of the present locks, at Pedro Miguel and Miraflores on the west.  Each basin will be 1200 feet long, 140 feet wide, and 45 feet deep.  Near Gatun it will be necessary to relocate the railroad for the short distance in order to avoid crossing the new bypass (*note below), and some new highway construction will be required.  The town of Gatun will become an island to the mainland over a moveable bridge.   A similar bridge across the existing locks at Miraflores to connect the railroad and highway on the eastern side with the new locks west of the present canal was opened to traffic on May 20, 1942.(**note below)
        Reversing the policy pursued throughout the construction of the original canal, the government decided to allocate the building of the new locks and the dry excavation to contractors and to assigning only the dredging operations to its own labor force.  Actual construction began on July 1, 1940, when the dipper dredge Cascadas started to scoop ou the Pacific end of the bypass leading to the new Miraflores locks.  On October 1 the first dredge went to work on the Gatun bypass.  Governor Edgerton estimated the total excavation required for all the new locks and bypasses at 61,900,000 cubic yards, almost equally divided between dredging and dry steam shovel digging.  In May 1943 the newspapers announced that the dry excavation "is almost finished, and contractors are expected to remove their equipment by the end of  the month."
          Today the Canal Zone is prepared for any emergency.  The new work is progressing smoothly and rapidly; dredges and concrete mixers operate at full speed while planes roar overhead and gray ships laden with wartime cargoes pass silently through the heavily guarded waterway.  Obviously the records of this activity cannot now be written, for the canal is an instrument of war as well as of piece and must remain so as long as wars are fought.  The land has been divided, but the world is far from united.  The proud inscription on the great seal is still a dream of the future.

This last paragraph is a powerful one.  And as it say above, this is the end of any written history.  I have not been able to find any more information at this time.  I will add to this presentation as more information becomes available.  If any one out there has anything to add, please let me know..

* NOTE: Finally I have found the answer as to why the power lines that followed the railroad line bared off to the right several miles from Gatun.  The power line went straight into through the jungle and along side of Fort Davis until it met back up with the rail line.  The new "Post Treaty"  Panama Railroad will follow this line that would have been used if the third locks project had been completed. 

** NOTE: Of course, this is the swing bridge that is still at Miraflores Locks, but not used anymore.  So, this bridge was originally build for the railroad.

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