The Saimaa Canal (Finnish: Saimaan kanava; Swedish: Saima kanal; Russian: Сайменский канал) is a transportation canal that connects lake Saimaa with the Gulf of Finland near Vyborg, Russia. The canal was built from 1845 to 1856 and opened on 7 September 1856 (Old Style: 26 August 1856). It was overhauled and widened in 1963–1968.
A system of inland waterways and canals in the 120 interconnected lakes of the south-central and south-east part of Finland (Finnish Lakeland) are reached through the canal. The network of deep channels in Lake Saimaa with at least a draught of 4.2 metres (14 ft) covers 814 kilometres (506 mi). The deep channels extend all the way to Kuopio in Central Finland.
The canal begins near Lauritsala, Lappeenranta, Finland and ends in Vyborg, Russia , connecting Lake Saimaa and the Vyborg Bay. On the way, it connects Lake Nuijamaa, on the Finnish–Russian border, and three smaller lakes in Russia.
Length: 42.9 km (26.7 mi)
Finnish part: 23.3 km (14.5 mi)
Russian part: 19.6 km (12.2 mi)
Width: from 34 to 55 m (112 to 180 ft)
Total lift from the Gulf of Finland to Lake Saimaa: 75.7 m (248 ft)
The maximum dimensions allowed for a ship transiting the canal are:
Length: 82.0 m (269.0 ft)
Beam (width): 12.2 m (40 ft)
Draft: 4.35 m (14.3 ft)
Height of mast: 24.5 m (80 ft)
217 boundary pillars between Canal Rented Zone and main territory of Russia.
Bridges : The canal crosses
12 motor vehicles bridges:
6 of them in Finland – 3 movable and 3 immovable
other 6 in Russia – 4 movable and 2 immovable
2 railroad bridges (one on the each side of the border), both of them are immovable.