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Superior-Pacific Canal

Passage from Atlantic to Pacific without having to go through Panama
  (+4)
(+4)
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against]

Build a canal from the western-most point of Lake Superior to the Strait of Georgia (near Vancouver Island). It should cut across Minnesota and then run along the US-Canadian border.
AO, Mar 11 2003

Aqualibrium http://www.halfbake...om/idea/Aqualibrium
Same idea, different intent. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]

Alternative Atlantic-Pacific Sea Route http://216.239.51.1...459+&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
Coming to you courtesy of global warming within 10 years. [jurist, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Northwest Passage http://www.cnn.com/.../northwest.passage/
[jurist, Oct 04 2004]

River Horse http://www.powells....key=1-0140298606-19
Done the hard way, using existing waterways. [baconbrain, Jun 27 2005]

[link]






       Why? Do you have a problem with Panama? Or just too lazy to sail down there?
Worldgineer, Mar 11 2003
  

       No problem with Panama, but if you want to navigate from Minnesota to Washington State, it seems silly to have to go so far south.
AO, Mar 11 2003
  

       Do you have a problem with cars or planes?
Worldgineer, Mar 11 2003
  

       Cars and planes are fine, but it would be nice to have another option.
AO, Mar 11 2003
  

       World, that's the "what's wrong with the way we do it now?" argument, which sort of runs counter to the idea of the bakery as a whole.
waugsqueke, Mar 11 2003
  

       [waugs] you're right, sorry AO.   

       [AO] But why stop there? It must be really annoying when you want to sail to Lake Tahoe. Maybe what we need is a interconnected network of waterways, similar to our freeway system.
Worldgineer, Mar 11 2003
  

       I like the idea of having a tangible border between Canada and the U.S. ,to keep those pesky Americans from depleting our beer reserves eh.   

       Rods, the railroad for ships idea was featured on the cover of the Nov. 1932 issue of Popular Science.
waugsqueke, Mar 11 2003
  

       I would like dynamic canals that run from anywhere to anywhere else. It digs a trench in front of you and fills it up behind you, recirculating the water as you go while you lie on a deck chair waving to the slack-jawed landlubbers. Ha!
snarfyguy, Mar 11 2003
  

       Alright, we'll let some of you buy our beer, but you have to purchase a pound of back bacon with every six pack.   

       [dag] The Rockies represent a formidable obstacle, but not insurmountable. A series of locks, and massive pumping stations should be able to handle the elevation change.   

       The other option would be a tunnel, but I think that would be impractical.   

       [World] I like your idea of swinging by Lake Tahoe, they would definitely benefit from a major sea port up there, and we could also hit the Great Salt Lake as long as we’re dipping south. All that Tahoe water spilling into the canal would probably make it the purest, most beautiful canal in the world.
AO, Mar 11 2003
  

       If you want a "beautiful" and "pure" canal, be cautious of any connections to Great Salt Lake.   

       Personally I like the tunnel idea - The *Crossing the Divide* Tunnel of Love Boat Cruise.
lurch, Mar 11 2003
  

       Could you have a fan on one side for sailboats? (a true wind tunnel)
Worldgineer, Mar 11 2003
  

       If you put a flared wind collection device on the western end of the tunnel, the prevailing wind would provide for a pretty good airflow from west to east. The water would flow in the other direction since Lake Superior is a couple of hundred meters above sea level. You could use the sail to go east, and drift with the current to go west.
AO, Mar 11 2003
  

       It's scary when an American and a Canadian are arguing about who has better beer.
angel, Mar 11 2003
  

       The canal should be filled with American beer.
AO, Mar 11 2003
  

       You might have some luck selling it to American conservatives as a moat. Otherwise, it seems a bit arbitrary; it's also inconvenient having to go all the way around when driving to the other side of Lake Superior or flying to China.
Monkfish, Mar 11 2003
  

       A new ditch from Lake Superior to the Straits of Georgia seems like an incredible feat of engineering and an unnecessarily costly endeavor. Alternatively, one of the little discussed benefits of global warming is the shrinkage of arctic ice which has begun to provide year-round navigable passage across a Northern Canadian route. The Canadian Coast Guard reported an ice-free route from the Atlantic to the Pacific as recently as January of this year, and UN studies project that the Arctic may be reliably free of ice in the summertime by 2080 at current warming rates. The polar passage may come to challenge the Panama and Suez Canals.   

       (See linked article) The linked article also states that new polar routes will save about 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) on some routes from Europe to the Far East compared to southerly routes through Panama or the Suez. And a route north of Canada might save 6,000 to 8,000 nautical miles for a super tanker from Venezuela to Japan. Vessels too big to pass through the Panama Canal (and, presumably, a Superior-Pacific Canal) have to go around all of South America.   

       In this case, global warming could be our future friend. Maybe we should go back to proliferating aerosol sprays and putting our ozone layer on a diet.
jurist, Mar 11 2003
  

       Do those figures take into account the added distance at either end of the journey due to the flooding of the coastal areas?
DrBob, Mar 12 2003
  

       Not to worry, [UB]. Dig it deep enough, and you won't be able to keep the water away. It might even sequester enough to ease the flooding [DrBob] mentioned.
lurch, Mar 12 2003
  

       So, I gather you don't think the Northwest Passage Igloo Tour is a viable alternative?
jurist, Mar 12 2003
  

       // might even sequester enough //   

       Are you sure about that ? It doesn't have to be very deep. OK, VLCCs are huge close up, but on the planetary scale they're pretty small. Even allowing that your canal is wide enough to allow two to pass at any point, the actual volume of water isn't spectacular - I don't think the channel needs to be more than about 30 metres (the English channel is on average 120 metres deep). And you have to find somewhere to pile up all the dirt you dig out.......
8th of 7, Mar 12 2003
  

       Just like them to figure a way to smuggle our beer out, underwater.   

       Did they like it down there?   

       What?!?   

       Why not simply build a bigger and better Panama canal? If they aren't up to it, then how about Nicaragua or Costa Rica? Far less rock and rubble to move.   

       With global warning, the North West Passage should be soon open year round. Sure Canada claims it, but then again, Panama was once a province of Columbia before some good 'ol American gunboat diplomacy.   

       Also, one might have a canal go from Lake Superior to James Bay. From there, you take the Hudson Bay and then the NWP.   

       Last but not least, why not a large-gauge railway to carry big-boats/little ships over the continent?
Great Satan, Sep 15 2003
  

       I once saw an old map with the proposed sea-level canal across Nicaragua. It could be done, and may be why the US keeps an interest there.   

       River Horse is an account of a boat trip across America by William Least Heat Moon (see link).
baconbrain, Jun 27 2005
  

       Why stop there? I envisage a canal or some other waterway connecting North America and Great Britain...
Minimal, Jun 27 2005
  

       There is, but the drawbridge is up.
reensure, Jun 27 2005
  

       Shoot, screw the canadian border, let's just dig the old Rio Grande down a few meters below sea level, and make a little cut across some other areas for a southwest American passage?   

       Then the mexicans won't be so mad at us for "stealing" their beer, and we won't be so mad at them for "stealing" our jobs... But let's not discuss that issue beyond it's use as a selling point for the canal.
ye_river_xiv, Jun 15 2008
  
      
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