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The enormous task, to link Manchester with the sea by a navigable canal and river route, officially started with the first sod being cut on 11 November, 1887.
The 36 mile long route of the canal was then subdivided into eight separate sections, with a civil engineer made responsible for each stretch.
Thousands of navvies were employed throughout the following six years to work on the £15m scheme.
Despite a number of delays, caused by factors including financial difficulties, bad weather and management changes, the ship canal was finally flooded in November 1893. It opened to traffic on 1 January 1894 and was officially opened by Queen Victoria on 21 May 1894.
Upon completion, the Manchester Ship Canal became the largest navigation canal in the world at that time and, at its peak, established the port as the third busiest in the UK.
Now owned by Peel Ports, the canal forms part of an innovative carbon efficient waterway with additional further development along the canal including the creation of warehousing and logistics facilities.
Peel Group Archivist
former Deputy Chief Engineer
e: [email protected]