How Many Locks Does the Panama Canal Have?

many-locks-panama-canal Credit: Diego Lezama/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

As of 2014, there are three sets of locks in the Panama Canal: the three-chambered Gatun Locks, the one-chambered Pedro Miguel Locks and the two-chambered Miraflores Locks. Each lock is built double to accommodate two independent transit lanes.

The locks on the Panama Canal lift ships 85 feet to the canal's main elevation and then down again. The ships go up in three chambers and then down in three chambers, taking about eight to 10 hours for a complete journey through the canal.

The Panama Canal's expansion project, slated for completion in 2015, adds two triple locks to the canal. These new locks are 65 percent larger and designed to conserve more fresh water per transit than the older locks.