The Suez Canal connects the waters of the Mediterranean with the waters of the Indian Ocean, and is the highway of steamship traffic between Europe and the East. It is 100 miles in length and with a depth of 28 feet, and is 240 feet wide at the surface. The work of digging the canal was begun in 1859 and the canal was opened for traffic in 1869. Ferdinand de Lesseps was the engineer whose brain conceived what was at that time a vast undertaking and who completed the task. He was financed by Egyptian and British capital and the cost of construction was about $80,000,000. De Lesseps' fame was tarnished by the scandal in connection with the Panama Canal, which he afterward undertook.