Panama Canal OKs deal with builders on expansion

PANAMA CITY (AP) — The board of directors of the Panama Canal Authority has voted to approve a deal to end a dispute over $1.6 billion in cost overruns with the European-led construction consortium that is expanding the waterway.

The deal was initially announced in late February, after work on the project resumed following a two-week stoppage by the consortium.

A statement Friday from the authority says it and the consortium led by Spain's Sacyr will each inject $100 million to resume work. Appropriate legal venues are to decide disputes over the remaining amount.

The deal is aimed at allowing the project to finish by December 2015.

The $5.25 billion expansion project will allow extra-large tankers and container ships to use the Panama Canal and cut travel time between Asia and the eastern U.S.