Category Archives: Water transportation

October 2015 update —  Panama Canal Expansion

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This video (tap on link) recaps the progress made in the modernization of the Panama Canal, the first major improvements in the waterway in one hundred years.

Thousands of workers grade the earth, pour concrete, dredge a widened waterway, and install gigantic lock gates manufactured thousands of miles away and transited by barge to Panama.

Pont du Gard — a World Heritage Site

A World Heritage Site in southern France, this aqueduct bridge was built during the Roman occupation around the beginning of the Christian Era.

Pont du Gard the bridge aqueduct built by the Romans around the beginning of the Christian Era over the River Gardon from a stream to the Roman settlement T Nimes.

Pont du Gard the bridge aqueduct built by the Romans around the beginning of the Christian Era over the River Gardon from a stream to the Roman settlement T Nimes.

Because of the passage of time, only partial lengths of Roman aqueducts remain in various states of repair throughout Great Britain and Europe, wherever the Roman Army occupied the land. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in France.  Roman engineers, contractors, and workers built the aqueduct bridge on three tiers of water-tight stonework laid without mortar or bond of any kind.  The first level rests on six arches, the second, on eleven arches, and the third or top level carrying the water on thirty-five arches. In total, the bridge rises 160 feet from the river bed.  The aqueduct was built to carry water from a stream over the River Gardon to the Roman settlement at Nimes in the south of France twenty-five miles away.

The workmanship was so exacting that in many cases cement or other bonding products were not necessary to create precise sealants in the granite stonework. No mortar cement was used in constructing water-tight lengths of aqueduct.  There is another example of exacting Roman engineering and construction in Spain.   The Aqueduct of Segovia was also built around the beginning of the Christian Era with such precision the twenty-mile length carried water into and around Segovia until it fell into disuse in the Nineteenth century. It, too, was built without bonding or a sealant of any kind.  The Aqueduct at the Gardon River to Nimes in France and the Aqueduct to Segovia in Spain are the only two Roman bridge aqueducts known to survive from the Roman period.