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When Goethals replaced Stevens as Chief Engineer of the Panama Canal, the bulk of the work still lay ahead. Goethals shifted priority to excavation of the Culebra Cut, making it a 24-hour operation. As many as 6,000 men were at work on the cut at any given time. Without any warning, landslides would occur and wipe out months of work in an instant, destroying machinery and burying workers alive.