As of 2014, the Panama Canal is owned and controlled by Panama. The United States owned and operated the canal until 1999. The United States gave control over to Panama step by step starting in 1979, and full ownership was given to Panama on December 31, 1999.
The Panama Canal is 48 miles long and connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean by cutting across the isthmus of Panama. Construction of the canal was started by the French in 1881. After the French abandoned the project due to high mortality among workers and engineering issues, the United States took over construction in 1904 and completed it in 1914.