May 22 - The sixteenth and final gate for the new locks on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal has been installed.

The final gate is one of the heaviest, weighing in at 4,232 tonnes and measuring 57.6 m x 10 m x 33 m.

The installation of all eight gates on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal was completed earlier in April.

"The installation is a key milestone in the expansion programme and another important step forward for the canal," said Panama Canal Authority (ACP) administrator Jorge Quijano. "Once finished, the expanded waterway will provide new possibilities for world maritime trade and further position the canal as a reliable route to the industry."

Manufactured in Italy, the new gates arrived in Panama in four staggered shipments starting in August of 2013. An electro-mechanical process now begins to connect the gates with the other structures in the new locks.

The Panama Canal expansion is now 87.6 percent complete, said the ACP. With all 16 gates now installed, the lock chambers are now being flooded.