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US West Coast ports brace for Panama Canal expansion

Tacoma, Seattle and other ports are upgrading to cater to bigger vessels

Uncertainties: While the widened Panama Canal will allow an all-water route for big ships to the East Coast, the project - originally scheduled to open this year - has been plagued with construction delays. And the authorities have yet to announce toll charges. - PHOTO: REUTERS

[TACOMA, Washington] As construction crews 8,000 kilometres away are working to widen the Panama Canal to allow much larger ships to sail straight to the East Coast, this historic port city and others along the West Coast are doing everything they can to avoid becoming superfluous.