Container ships and oil tankers are reverting to 19th century shipping routes, traveling several thousand extra miles around the Horn of Africa rather than paying canal fees.
French and Egyptian officials have negotiated a $1.06 billion price tag for the two Mistral Warships, which are expected to be delivered to Egypt in March 2016.
More than 140 years after its initial opening, the government hopes the expansion project will double the annual revenue generated by the canal.
The Cost of Progress? We Meet Some of the Thousands of Sinai Villagers Displaced by Suez Canal Expansion
VICE News visited the villages in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula that have been demolished to make way for an expansion to the Suez Canal, in what lawyers say is an illegal eviction.
Scientists fear that Egypt's $8.5 billion plan to expand the 101-mile canal will lead to the spread of invasive species from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
Some pissed off Egyptians tried to block the Suez Canal this weekend, but you were probably too drunk to notice.