Nicaragua and Panama canals
The United States government and US businesses had long set its sights on Nicaragua for an ocean-to-ocean canal, but interest in it waned after the construction of the Panama Canal, which opened in 1914. Here, a map of the Panama Canal alongside former plans for a canal in Nicaragua. The Nicaragua canal will now become a reality. Creative Commons

The Inter-Oceanic Nicaragua Canal will be built across the Great Lake Cocibolca-the second largest in Latin America after Lake Titicaca, and its tributaries, the Chinese government and Hong Kong company HKND revealed on Monday. "The canal will cross the Nicaraguan territory from east to west with an estimated 278 km total length, including a stretch of 105 km of Lake Nicaragua (Cocibolca)," said the engineer of the Canal Project, Yung Dong Song, at a meeting with government and academic authorities in Managua.

The canal starts at the mouth of Brito River on the south coast of the Nicaraguan Pacific, located in the department of Rivas which borders with Costa Rica. It will pass Lake Cocibolca, and then run through the Tule and Punta Gorda tributaries that flow into the southern Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The Inter-Oceanic Canal Route of Nicaragua began in the department of Rivas, crossing the Great Lake Cocibolca and ending in the Caribbean Sea. Dong said he chose that route because it would be the way to lower the environmental impact.

The canal will also involve building an artificial lake of 400 km2 in the vicinity of Punta Gorda River in the Caribbean region, which supposedly would ensure a water supply to the channel without affecting the Cocibolca, which has a length of 8,264 km2. The project will have two airports with capacity of 1 million people and more than 20 tons of cargo. In addition, four world-class hotels will be built. "The free trade area will generate more than 30,000 jobs. By 2030 Grand Canal will have generated approximately $2 billion according to estimates," the Nicaraguan news media revealed.

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