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.
The Hong Kong-financed project could double the country's GDP, but threatens endangered cats and an estimated 119,000 indigenous people.
The same questions about the viability of the project remain, save the question of when the groundbreaking is.
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.
It is difficult to tell if the canal, which will be an alternative to the Panama Canal, will become a reality or is just propaganda.