PANAMA -- The Big Ditch is about to get bigger – and busier. Despite a nasty contract dispute this year that provoked work stoppages and cost overruns, a new, larger set of locks on the Panamá Canal is expected to begin operating in December 2015, according to Jorge Quijano, administrator of the Panamá Canal Authority, known by its Spanish initials ACP. That’s about a year later than the original deadline, but Quijano claims it will be worth the wait. The new locks at either end of the canal will be wider and feature deeper channels in order to accommodate vessels that are too big for the two sets of original locks. The canal will also be widened where it cuts through the mountains at the Continental Divide.