Cucaracha Slide


The Canal Record - October 9, 1907
Notes of Progress.

The Cucaracha Slide at its Old Tricks.
Owing to the heavy rainfalls of the past few weeks, the Cucaracha slide, which remains quiet during the dry season, has again begun to move.  This slide is on the east side of the Canal about half a mile south of Gold Hill, and first began to move in 1884 or 1885, during the time of the old French company.  It gave this company a good deal of trouble during the entire time that operations were in progress in this vicinity; but its movement ceased soon after the failure of the old company in 1889.  It remained practically quiescent during the entire period of  control by the new French company, the reason being that no operations in the Canal in this vicinity were carried on by that company.  With the resumption of work by the United States in 1905, the slide again began to move, and has continued to give more or less trouble during every wet season since.  The total amount of material in movement is estimated at about 500,000 cubic yards.  The plan pursued heretofore has been to attack the slide during the dry season with steam shovels, cutting as wide a berm as possible in the material outside of the limits of the prism, so that, during the wet season, the moving material would be caught on the berms and would not get into the Canal.   The movement during the present season has been more rapid than usual and the berms have been filled up, permitting a part of the material to get into the Canal prism.  Shovel No. 223 was caught by the moving mass of material on October 4, and was extricated unimpaired on October 6.  Shovel No. 109 was also caught, but was pulled out by the wrecking train on October 5.

During the next dry season as many shovels as possible will be put to work outside of the Canal prism, for the purpose of removing all the material now in motion, which would be liable to get into the Canal during succeeding wet seasons.  the total amount of material involved in this slide (about 500,000 cubic yards) was included in the estimate of April 1, 1907, which gave the total amount of material yet to be excavated in order to complete the Canal under the existing project.

The Canal Record - October 16, 1907
Notes of Progress.

The Cucaracha Slide.
The work of removing the material east into the Culebra Cut by the Cucaracha slide has continued without interruption day and night since the last issue of  The Canal Record, and several hundred cubic yards of material have been taken out.  To avoid delaying the movement of dirt trains a track is being laid from the bottom of the Cut up to the second level on the west side.

This track will be completed in about a week, and when finished the movement of dirt trains will cease to be effected by the slide.  This will enable the work upon the slide to be transacted more economically and without detriment to the other parts of the work.  Although causing some temporary annoyance until the present wet season ends, the slide will in no way delay the completion of the Canal.

The Canal Record - October 23, 1907
Notes of Progress.

The Cucaracha Slide.
During the past week the work of removing the material east into Culebra Cut by the Cucaracha slide has continued with undiminished energy.  Electric arc lights have been erected at the slide, and the work has been carried forward day and night with three steam shovels.  The effect of this has been to gain slowly but gradually on the slide, and it is hoped that within ten days or two weeks the movement of material trains through the Cut will be resumed on the old schedule.  This gain has been achieved in spite of the fact that during the last twenty days the rainfall has been the heaviest of the year.


The Canal Record - October 30, 1907
Notes of Progress.

The Cucaracha Slide.
The work of removing the material east into the Cut by the Cucaracha slide has advanced very favorably during the past week, and a steady gain upon the slide has been made.   On Sunday night about 900 cubic yards were taken out and on Monday more than 1,000 cubic yards.  during the first two weeks the slide moved steadily toward the Cut at the rate of about 14 feet per day, but this rate of motion has decreased in the past four or five days.

One through track has been laid, and a second will be laid within the next few days if all goes well.  the movement of dirt trains through the cut will then be resumed.

Upon the whole the conditions regarding the slide are more favorable than was first anticipated they could be at this time.  The total amount of earth which will have to be removed will probably be less than was first estimated.  Steady progress has been made in spite of the fact that the rains of the month have been the heaviest of the year.

The Canal Record - November 6, 1907
Notes of Progress.

The Cucaracha Slide.
Steady progress has been made during the past week in removing the material east into the Cut by the Cucaracha slide.  The work has been aided by the slow movement of the slide which has dropped from 14 feet a day, the rate maintained during the first two weeks, to about 4 feet a day.  Two tracks have been laid past the foot of the slide and a third track will be in place within a few days.  The movement of dirt trains, to the full capacity existing before the slide occurred, will then be resumed.

The Canal Record - November 13, 1907
Notes of Progress.

The Cucaracha Slide.
Owing to the progress made in the removal of earth from the Cucaracha slide, night work is now no longer necessary.  Two tracks are in operation at the slide in the Cut on the west side, one of which is used for the passage of loaded material trains and the other as the loading track for steam shovels. The passage of all loaded material trains through the Cut to the south has been resumed, but in order to interfere as little as possible with work at the slide, empty trains are brought back on the line of the Panama railroad.

[This the last mention of the Cucaracha Slide in the Canal Record regarding this particular incident]


Presented by CZBrats
November 16, 1998

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