The constructors involved in the redevelopment of the historic waterway have managed to make it two kilometers longer owing to new artificial ponds and barrages. The canal is now 103 kilometers long, of them 24 kilometers are situated in the territory of this country.
The Belarusian part of the canal with four locks and two dams may be called navigable, as it is fully accessible to steamboats and enthusiasts of canoeing and kayaking. Besides, there is a ferry to connect the banks.
The Augustow Canal was built in 1824-1839 to connect the basins of the rivers Neman and Vistula. The construction had been initiated by Finance Minister of the Polish Kingdom Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki. The canal that served as a link between the rivers Neman and Bebcz was designed to ensure uninterrupted exports of Polish goods by-passing Prussia, which had hiked customs rates. The design was developed by engineer lieutenant-colonel Ignaty Prondinsky. The water route that he created used to have 18 locks, 29 waterflow retarding dams, 14 large and smaller bridges. At present there are only two analogues of the Augustow Canal in the world, in Sweden and the UK, which had decided to connect rivers and lakes using engineering solutions of the kind. Importantly enough, the construction is designed in a way that does not affect the environment.
The basin of the Belarusian part of the canal boasts over 50 historical and cultural monuments, an important asset to develop new tourist routes.