For years, the sewer and storm drain manhole covers were mysteriously disappearing from Panama streets. This happened during the darkness of the night. The authorities were baffled and perplexed by these strange disappearances. In addition, there were many fatal car accidents caused by the large holes that remained on the streets after the covers had been removed.
After an exhaustive investigation, the Transportation Department (Departamento de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre) discovered that these metallic lids were stolen and sold to scrap companies which exported them to Chinese companies after melting them into solid steel blocks. As you know, China is a great importer of metals to continue its impressive economic growth. It is now the second largest economy in the world following the United States and surpassing Japan which slid into third place.
Considering this fact, the Brazilian company which built the Cinta Costera, Odebrecht S.A., decided to use special covers to guarantee the Panama government they could not be vandalized or stolen. They came up with a circular Korum manhole cover. The Korum resists severe use conditions and integrates the innovation of automatic locking to an innovative anti-theft system. The new locks D50, Penta+ and SCS+ feature a ductile cast iron bar, with high resistance to vandalism attempts. I understand the new sewer and storm drain system also uses the Korum PAM D400 EN124 NBR 10160, whatever those construction codes are.
The truth to the matter is, that the continuous disappearance of newly installed manhole covers have stopped. I understand the modern sewer and storm drain system that Panama is currently building, will use also this type of covers. This is what I call, “taking a bite out of crime.”
I thought it would be interesting to take a picture of this innovative manhole cover. Maybe it could be a collector’s item 500 years from now. Here we go.
If you are a curious person, and want to know more about Panama and the Cinta Costera, please come again tomorrow. There are other goodies waiting in line. Good Day.