The Falkirk Wheel of Central Scotland: reconnecting Glasgow and Edinburgh

Designed by Scottish architect Tony Kettle, the Falkirkwheel is one of the most unusually designed rotating boat lifts and systems in the world. Employing Archimedes principle and a 22-horsepower motor, the wheel lifts narrow or canal boats a distance of 79 feet from the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal. Opening in 2002,the project reconnected Glasgow with Edinburgh for the first time since the 1930s. In the 1930s, the two canals were connected by 11 locks.

It is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world. Design of the wheel began in 1999; construction ended in 2002–two years after the Millennium Commission had set its goal for completion of the project.

West Coast Business Leaders Urge Capitalizing on the Panama Canal


Government, business leaders urge capitalizing on canal expansion
Oct 30, 2014, 2:47pm EDT

Wade Millward
Former Florida Senator George LeMieux listens to the business panel at a global trade symposium Thursday. LeMieux, now with the Gunster law firm, gave the event’s final presentation on the importance of global trade.

Wade Millward
Tampa Bay Business Journal
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With more investment, Florida can lead the Western Hemisphere in global trade, speakers preached to audience members at a Thursday symposium.
Two panels, one of government officials and a later one of trade and transport executives, highlighted conditions the state can use to capitalize on the finished $5.2 billion Panama Canal expansion next year.
They touted expansion projects also happening in the state to ease transportation congestion and provide a skilled workforce.
Tampa Bay Business Journal and Bank of America Merrill Lynch hosted the Tampa Bay Global Trade and Transportation Symposium at Port Tampa Bay.
Speakers from both panels demanded audience members request more spending from the Legislature to increase the state’s reputation as an international hub and surpass states such as California and New York.
“Somebody’s going to win this race,” moderator Tony Carvajal, who is Florida Chamber Foundation’s executive vice president, said at the panel’s close. “We’ve got to do this now.”
The port is adding 25 acres and expanding to seven total docking cruise lines in time for cruise season starting Sunday, CEO Paul Anderson said. It’s in negotiations with manufacturers, including a handful from Latin America, to open in Tampa Bay.
Tampa International Airport will finish an expansion by 2017 and is negotiating direct flights from Europe to encourage tourism and foreign companies to open local regional offices, CEO Joe Lopano said.
The Florida Department of Transportation is widening Interstate 75 from the Georgia border to Alligator Alley to six lanes, assistant secretary Rich Biter said.
Hillsborough County will open a small business center for entrepreneurs in two weeks, County Commissioner Sandra Murman said.
“We will be the place where everybody wants to be,” the commissioner said.
During the business panel, Bob O’Malley, CSX resident vice president of state government and community affairs, said CSX will hire a few thousand workers for upcoming projects and to replace retiring employees.
CSX opened a distribution center in Winter Haven to act as statewide hub and broke ground on a 400,000-square-foot nearby space for retailers, O’Malley said.
The lesson from the symposium should be the necessity of government creating business opportunities while companies deliver more trade, said panel moderator and Florida Chamber of Commerce global outreach director Alice Ancona.
One recent success: Tampa International Airport recruiting Copa Airlines, which offers flights between Tampa and Panama City, Panama.
“The partnership I’ve seen here is how we can together grow international trade,” said Fernando Fondevila, Copa Airlines regional commercial manager for North America.
Wade Millward is a reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

President Theodore Roosevelt operating a Dredge in the Culebra Cut of the Panama Canal

Pres. Theodore Roosevelt operating what appears to be a dipper elevator dredge in the Culebra Cut in 1906,
Pres. Theodore Roosevelt operating what appears to be an elevator dredge in the Culebra Cut in 1906.

The Culebra Cut was the most difficult of all the dredging operations in the digging of the Panama Canal.  Capt. David Gaillard, of French Hugenot ancestry, was chief of dredging operations at the Cut and a cousin of Henry Gaillard.  Henry had been one of the four original incorporators of the Florida canal company, the longest serving director, and a St. Augustine state senator.  Henry’s political importance in securing the million acres of state land promised for dredging what would become the Intracoastal Waterway cannot be overstated.  Without Henry’s political clout after the death of Dr. John Westcott, it is doubtful the company would have been successful.

The Culebra Cut was essentially a cut through a solid mountain.  So arduous was the work, including dynamiting and the building of a railway to remove the rock and debris, it left David a broken man.  David was hospitalized for the balance of the Panama Canal work.  He died before the opening ceremonies. Here, Roosevelt operates an elevator dredge, which required level ground and the laying of railway steel and wooden ties.  The Florida canal company used elevator dredges in the northern extension of the Florida waterway from St. Augustine to Jacksonville.  Courtesy, Library of Congress, American Memory.

The Erie Canal at Lockport, New York (1817-1825)

Embed from Getty Images

The construction of the wildly successful Erie Canal in the State of New York set off a new era of canal construction across America. For the first time, an inland waterway provided a connection between New York City on the Atlantic coast and cities along the shores of the Great Lakes like Chicago. The link allowed New York City to surpass Baltimore as the largest city in the United States.

A strict construction of the Constitution rooted in the Constitutional Convention. at Philadelphia limited Congress’s powers to construct “post-roads” and undertake specific tasks set forth with particularity. Federal financing of inland waterways was not one of them. In fact, a bill to engraft the power to build inland waterways failed to pass in Philadelphia. The restraint against federal financing left New Yorkers with little choice but to build the Erie Canal with state and local funding as well as private financing and the implementation of tolls as a means of maintaining the Canal.

Back to the future: the Chesapeake and Delaware River Canal

Completed in 1829 during the first great Canal Era when arguments over Constitutional restraints kept Congress from using Federal taxpayer money to fund inland waterway construction, a private company completed the 17-mile waterway between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.

The original waterway was a tollway ten feet deep and sixty-six feet wide, with a boat channel thirty-six feet wide. It had four locks, each 110 feet long and 22 feet wide, later enlarged to 220 feet long and 24 feet wide.  The canal system later gave way to the faster and more economical railway by the time of the Civil War.

Today, the Canal has 5 fixed bridges and one lift bridge.  The four locks have been removed. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal serves as an important inland link in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Boston to Miami.

To see a short film of a boat transiting the Canal, Tap on this: