Work began on the canal in 1881 by the french however due to engineering issues and a growing rate of mortality due to disease the construction was forced to be put on hold. In 1904 the US took the project on and a decade later the canal was finally complete, the canal officially opened on August the 15th- 1914 at an impressive 48 miles long (77.1 Kilometre) the panama soon became a huge novelty to the world, reducing the time it would usually take to travel between both the Atlantic and pacific oceans drastically. The unveiling of the transformed canal meant that people travelling were now able to avoid having to journey down the Cape horn route, this is the Southernmost tip of South America via either the strait of Magellan or the Drake passage. The world were now provided with a much safer and substantially faster route to the US. Due to the amount of new congestion the West coast and areas around the Pacific ocean became much more integrated with world economy. The Panama canal is key for international trade and so all ports had to be of colossal proportions. There are locks at either end of the route in order to lift the ships up to an artificial lake created in order to reduce the quantity of excavation work that would have typically been required, at 26 meters (85ft) above sea level and 33.5 meters (110ft) wide it is safe to say the locks are ready and waiting for ships of gigantic proportions. All in all it takes around 8- 10 hours to travel through from beginning to end.