Manchester Ship Canal, 35.5 mi (57 km) long with a minimum depth of 28 ft (8.5 m), connecting Manchester, W England, with the Mersey estuary at Eastham, above Birkenhead. Begun in 1887, it was opened in 1894 and changed Manchester from a river port to a seaport. Although no longer able to accommodate the largest oceangoing vessels, it also is now used to transport containerized shipping by barge.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.