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MWH Global awarded $4.4 million contract for Panama Canal design services

PANAMA CITY, Panama 1/20/12 (PennWell) -- MWH Global has been selected to provide the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) with preliminary and final design services for a new spillway at Gatun Lake, the Colorado-based company announces.

The existing spillway is almost 100 years old and is part of the Gatun Dam, which crosses the Chagres River to impound Gatun Lake.

The contract, worth US$4.4 million, says MWH will design a new spillway to increase the outflow capacity of the existing spillway system, which ACP wants to increase to manage the maximum expected flood.

MWH will first identify flood management solutions and developing corresponding conceptual designs and cost analysis, according to a release. ACP will then select a proposal MWH will develop to final design, including construction drawings, specifications, cost estimates and constructability recommendations. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

"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," said Rex Bell, who leads MWH operations in Latin America.

MWH is also working with ACP as lead technical designer of the new Post-Panamax navigation locks for the Third Set of Locks expansion that, when completed in 2014, will double the canal's capacity.

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