Tests and Analyses of the Panama Canal Locks Tow Track System.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS STRUCTURES LAB
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The Panama Canal has in recent decades experienced increasingly heavier traffic volume and gross tonnage. These increased demands have contributed to serious structural deterioration of the tow track system used in the locks traffic was devised by Panama Canal Commission PCC engineers, and implementation was begun in 1981. Concern arose that the repaired tow track might not be resistant to continued deterioration. An evaluation of the structural integrity of the repaired track system was needed to assist in determining whether more comprehensive alternatives to the expensive repair procedure should be considered. In November 1981, the US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station was funded by the PCC to conduct structural tests and analyses on the repaired tow track structure. The tests were conducted during March and April 1982 at the Miraflores Locks. Finite element analyses and supporting calculations were made and compared with test results. Although track system component stress levels documented in the tests were not critical, analyses suggest the development of progressive cycles of localized overstressing and subsequent redistribution of loads, the cumulative effects of which may eventually threaten areas of supporting concrete and certain track system components, especially tie sections. Author
- Surface Transportation and Equipment