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Consciously or unconsciously, we ask ourselves "how long" type of questions dozens of time each day. Whether it is to satisfy our own curiosity, enrich a conversation, organize our dayly agenda, or plan for the future, knowing how long things took or will take is key in our fast-phased world.

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How long did it take to build the Panama canal?

10 years

The construction of the Panama Canal took nine years, from 1904 to 1914. It involved an unprecedented effort by thousands of laborers and engineers from all around the world, with a vast array of machinery and technological advancements.

The canal was built by the United States after it purchased rights from Colombia in 1903 following a revolution there. By 1914, ships could travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a decrease in travel time of around 8,000 miles. The canal enabled global trade to take place more quickly and efficiently than it had ever before, revolutionizing international commerce.

The Panama Canal is still in use today, serving around 14,000 ships each year. It has been recognized as one of the greatest engineering feats in history, and is undoubtedly one of the most important waterways in the world.

In 2019, a project to widen and modernize the canal was completed, enabling it to accommodate larger ships and increase its efficiency. It is expected that this will provide an economic stimulus to Panama and help consolidate the country’s position as one of the most important global transport networks.

The Panama Canal continues to be an incredible feat of engineering even after over a century of use, and is still considered a marvel of modern technology. It stands as a testament to the achievements that can be accomplished when hard work, dedication, and technical know-how are combined.