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The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. It is 77-kilometre long. Built from 1904 to 1914, annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in the canal's early days to more than 14,000 vessels in nowadays. It has been named one of the seven modern wonders of the world by the American Society of Civil Engineers. On the route of the canal there are a series of 3 sets of locks, the Gatun, Pedro Miguel and the Miraflores locks. At Gatun there are 2 parallel sets of locks each consisting of 3 flights, this set of locks lifts ships a total of 26 metres. The smallest set of locks along the Panama Canal are at Pedro Miguel and have one flight which raise or lower ships 10 metres. The Miraflores locks have two flights with a combined lift or decent of 16.5 metres. A complete transit of the canal usually takes between 9 and 10 hours.
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