The Augustow Canal was created in the 19th century to link a wide system of waterways in the Baltic Sea basin from Germany to Lithuania. Using the canal one can travel “around Europe” by water. After the reconstruction the Belarusian part of the canal (Grodno region) gained 2 km and now makes 103.2 km.
The decision to restore the Belarusian part of the canal was taken back in 2004. The reconstruction used designs and plans of the 19th century, which allowed preserving authentic parts of the sluices. The reconstruction employs methods developed during the times of Ignacy Pradzynski.
While restoring the Augustow Canal the builders straightened and expanded the riverbed in some parts and made it deeper to give access to small pleasure boats and other vessels. New bridges and sluices appeared along with granite jetties, wooden arbours, and artificial ponds.
The Belarusian part of the reconstruction of hydraulic works and restoration of the waterway has been actually completed. However, the Augustow Canal will not be whole for a while. Construction work is still in full swing at borderline navigation sluice Kurzyniec (the state border of Belarus and Poland). Poland will complete restoring the sluice and five kilometres of the riverbed next year. Only then the Augustow Canal will be fully navigable. At that time tourists will get a new route from Poland to Belarus by motor vessel. By the way, the Augustow Canal basin has over 50 objects of ecological and historical ethnographic value.