assn6a - 1.201J / 11.545J / ESD.210J Transportation Systems...

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Unformatted text preview: 1.201J / 11.545J / ESD.210J Transportation Systems FALL 2006 ASSIGNMENT 6 : Expanding the Panama Canal (Part A) Date assigned: November 17, 2006 Date due: Friday, December 1, 2006 Value: 10 points for Part A; 4 points for Part B Assignment 6 will have two parts. Part A addresses issues related to the capacity, performance, and demand for the Panama Canal. You have been assigned to a team of three to work on this assignment. The teams may split up the work in whatever way they wish, and they must report how each member contributed to the assignment. This is not a pull an all-nighter the day before it is due kind of assignment. You need to get your team organized quickly and work uniformly over the next two weeks to be successful. Part B is an individual assignment (to be handed out on November 28 th ). It will ask you to consider policy issues from the perspective of various actors based on the numerical results you developed in Part A. 1 Background 2 Atlantic (Caribbean) Bahia Limon Rio Chagres Gatun Locks Pacific (Gulf of Panama) Bridge of the Americas Miraflores Locks Miraflores Lake Pedro Miguel Locks Culebra Cut Centennial Bridge Rio Chagres Alajuela Lake Madden Dam Gatun Dam Lake Gatun A DIAGRAM OF THE PANAMA CANAL Main Ship Route Banana Cut (Service Route) N S W E Figure by MIT OCW. By 1990, the Panama Canal was operating close to capacity, and it was clear that major investments would be needed to keep pace with demand. The Canal, which had been designed for the largest ships envisioned at the beginning of the 20th century, was no longer able to handle the largest ships afloat at the end of the century. While the Canal certainly offered a cheaper and quicker route for many commodities and trade routes, it was less attractive to others because of the added costs imposed by the Canal tolls, the potential for delays if the Canal were to become congested, and the restrictions on vessel size. Control of the Panama Canal was to be transferred from the U.S. to Panama on December 31, 1999. In preparing for the transfer, the Panama Canal Commission undertook a variety of engineering and transportation systems studies to determine how best to respond to the growing demand. While under U.S. control, the Canal had always been operated on a self-sufficient basis, i.e. the Panama Canal Commission (PCC) used revenue from tolls to pay for operations and maintenance (approximately $250 million) and capital investment (also on the order of $200 million). It did not borrow any money (nor did it ever have to repay the U.S. government for the original cost of construction paid for by the U.S.). The annual revenue from tolls was also sufficient to make a $200 million contribution to the Government of Panama (GOP) ($100 million per year in 1990). U.S. policy sought to maintain a high level of service for users of the Canal without seeking to maximize either profits for the PCC or contribution to the GOP....
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assn6a - 1.201J / 11.545J / ESD.210J Transportation Systems...

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