The Welland Canal is a short 27 mile ship canal connecting Lake Superior and Lake Erie, circumventing the Niagara Falls, operated by the United States and Canada. This inland waterway was first built between 1824 and 1830 by the Welland Canal Company, a private inland waterway company. Three more canals would be built; and fifth waterway is incomplete as of this writing. The eight locks permit cargo ships to ascend from Lake Superior to Lake Erie. a distance of 80 feet. The locks are eighty feet wide and can accommodate ships 740 feet long. It requires eleven hours for a ship to transit the entire length of the canal and pass through the eight locks.