The most impressive engineering feet of the 19th century in America is the Erie Canal. Built between 1817-1825, it was 363 miles long, four feet deep and 40 feet wide and all dug by hand. It covered an elevation of 571 feet making it necessary for 83 locks. When done it cut a two week wagon ride down to a five day journey. It also did more to open up the Midwest and make NYC the trading hub of America than any other accomplishment.