ICE President David Orr was in Liverpool as part of his visit to the North West earlier this month.
During his visit, he opened the final section of the Liverpool canal link.
Orr said the canal link," will bring to reality a long-standing dream…joining this historic waterfront to the North Sea, nearly 130 miles to the east."
Orr went on to praise British Waterways for taking "those first bold steps back in 2002 to complete the canal thoroughfare", dubbing the link the "final piece in a 200 year-old waterway jigsaw".
The canal link is a £20M scheme to extend the Leeds & Liverpool canal (near the Eldonian Village), down the lock flight to Stanley Dock, through the disused Central Docks, across the Pier Head in front of the Three Graces, and into the South Docks.
The 203km long canal had ended opposite the Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock.
The link therefore, provides a further 2.2km of navigable waterway.
The route consists of various structures including two new locks, open channels, tunnels and culverts.
In addition, there are also various structures and works required to facilitate the safe operation of the existing dock system and to ensure clearances for navigation.
Completion of the canal link construction is planned for autumn 2008, with the Pier Head section finishing in July.