Consortium FCC-ICA-Meco is to begin a $267.8m fourth and final dry excavation (PAC-4) contract, ordered by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The scope of work includes 26 million cubic metres of unclassified excavation and the installation of a back-filled cellular cofferdam water barrier.

The consortium will also construct an earth-rock-filled dam that will create part of the access channel’s eastern bank. The work is scheduled to conclude during the third quarter of 2013.

Once complete, the project will build a new lane of traffic through the construction of a new set of locks which is expected to double capacity allowing more traffic with longer and wider ships.

The ACP awarded the PAC-4 contract to FCC-ICA-Meco, a Spanish, Mexican and Costa Rican joint venture.