$40B Nicaragua Canal Would Be 3X Bigger Than Panama Canal

Developers unveiled a final potential route for the Nicaragua Canal, a shipping canal that will be three times the size of the Panama Canal.
Posted at 11:37 AM, Jul 08, 2014

Looks like the Panama Canal, long the only shipping canal connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, might be losing that distinction in the near future. (Via Flickr / el.chamilo)

Meet the proposed Nicaragua Canal. Its potential final route was announced Tuesday by Hong Kong-based developer HKND Group. (Via RT)

​The canal, which HKND CEO Wang Jing calls, "the biggest project built in the history of humanity," would stretch some 173 miles across the Central American country, connecting Punta Gorda on the Caribbean to the mouth of the river Brito on the Pacific. (Via Google Earth)

If you want to understand just how massive this is, people consider the Panama Canal one of the engineering wonders of world. This thing would be three times as big.

The new canal, which would cost an estimated $40 billion, could accommodate Maersk Triple E class ships, which can carry 18,000 containers: more than triple the current capacity of the Panama Canal. (Via Getty Images,  Maersk)

The Panama Canal authority is currently working to expand it, but even after construction is finished, it would fall short of the Nicaragua Canal by about 6,000 containers. (Via Panama Canal Authority)

But according to Nicaraguan officials, the Nicaragua Canal isn't looking to compete with its Panamanian neighbor. 

Instead, as the BBC reports, officials hope to complement the existing canal.

In fact, according to La Prensa, the University of Nicaragua is collaborating with its counterpart in Panama to prepare students for work on the project.    

And they're not the only ones collaborating. As Russia Beyond the Headlines reports the Russian government will also be joining in, providing security for the project. 

So Russia and China are working together some 2,000 miles south of the American border. Where does that leave the U.S.?  

Well, while there still hasn't been any word from the White House on the issue, some pundits argue the U.S.'s biggest problem lies in our ports. (Via The White House)

"​Only 10 of America's approximately 55 major ports will be ready for the bigger ships [by 2015]" (Via CNN)

And the entire project is still pending environmental impact studies, as the canal passes through Lake Nicaragua, and critics are concerned it could have disastrous effects on the lake. (Via Flickr / orangebrompton)

Officials say they plan on starting work on the canal by the end of this year.