Panama City, Panama
This week, Ben Huberman asks us to show how two or more things come together. You can read the entire challenge post here. My entry for this week’s challenge is at a crossroads, so to speak, of three major connection points. The most visible connection in the photo is the waterway. The Panama Canal connects the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean via canals, a lake and several elevation changing locks. The other two connections are less visible in the photo.
The second connection in the image is the bridge in the distance. The Bridge of the Americas, on the Pacific Ocean side of the canal near Panama City, connects the continents of North America and South America by highway. Though the Bridge of the Americas is not the first bridge to connect the Americas, the preceding bridges use moveable designs and carry limited amounts of traffic. In 2004, the Centennial Bridge was completed to help alleviate traffic congestion at the Bridge of the Americas.
The Bridge of the Americas connects the Pan-American Highway, a network of roads some 30,000 miles (48,000 km) in length. The Pan American Highway connects almost all of the mainland nations of the Americas. With the exception of a 60-mile (100 km) gap through the rainforest, it is possible to drive from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, through Canada, across the continental United States into Mexico and through Central America to the rainforest in southern Panama. The highway resumes again in Colombia and makes its way southward to the southern tip of the continent at Ushuaia, Argentina.
In 2013, my wife and I traveled through the Panama Canal and made several stops along the way from Miami to Los Angeles. Pictures and more about crossing the Panama Canal by cruise ship can be found in my Canal crossing post here.