The 7 Most Incredible Construction Projects in the World
Since humans first started constructing buildings, projects seem to have become progressively larger and more complex every year. Today, city skylines are dotted with everything from expansive bridges to towering skyscrapers that appear to defy the laws of physics. Discover some of the most incredible construction projects from around the world and the mind-boggling engineering that made them happen.
Stretching 2,722 feet into the sky, Burj Khalifa in Dubai currently sits in the record books as the tallest structure in the world. This enormous building also has some impressive systems in place. The water system goes through around 250,000 gallons of water a day. The air in Dubai is cleaner and cooler above ground level, so the air conditioning system draws air from the upper floors to cool the building. A combination of window cleaners and unmanned machines clean the 24,348 windows on the building. It takes 36 workers around three to four months to clean all the windows.
Another impressive feat of engineering in Dubai is the Palm Islands, three man-made islands created by a process called land reclamation. During land reclamation, machines dredge sand from the floor of the Arabian and Persian Gulf and spray it into a shape using GPS technology. Then millions of tons of rock surround the new land for protection. Palm Jumeirah is currently the only island that’s complete, and it’s home to luxurious resorts, restaurants, and other attractions. You can reach the island by road or by using the underwater monorail.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge
The numbers behind the immense Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge are just as amazing as the mega-infrastructure itself. The structure actually consists of three cable-stayed bridges, one undersea tunnel, and three artificial islands. It spans the Lingdingyang Channel and connects Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau. The 34-mile project started in 2009 and was finally completed in November 2017 with a price tag of 110 billion yuan, or about $15.9 billion in U.S. dollars. It’s expected to open to vehicular traffic in the summer of 2018.
Three Gorges Dam
Another massive construction project in China is the Three Gorges Dam. This colossal dam on the Yangtze River is 7,660 feet long and 607 feet high, and it took 37 million cubic yards of concrete and 463,000 metric tons of steel to create. The idea for the dam was first discussed in the 1920s, and plans for the project began in 1955. However, work didn’t get started on the dam until 1993. When it finally opened in 2003, it became the largest dam in the world. It also created reservoirs so deep that oceangoing freighters can navigate 1,400 miles inland.
Bay Bridge Eastern Span
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is actually a series of bridges that span the San Francisco Bay. When the eastern span of the bridge became seismically unsound, a construction project to build a replacement started in 2002 and was completed in 2013. Today the eastern span has 10 lanes, making it the world’s widest bridge. Incredibly, one 2.6-foot-diameter main cable that’s held on a 525-foot tower supports 90 percent of the bridge’s weight.
Gotthard Base Tunnel
The Gotthard Base Tunnel is a railway tunnel that runs through the Alps in Switzerland. Sitting 7,500 feet below the mountain peaks and stretching for 35 miles between Erstfeld and Bodio, Switzerland, the Gotthard Base Tunnel is the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world. It also provides a quick route through the Alps and ends the need for transporting large volumes of freight on winding mountainous roads. The trains initially travel at 124 mph before increasing to 155 mph. The journey takes about 20 minutes, which saves about 30 minutes compared to traveling by car.
United States Interstate System
Although not as glamorous as other projects previously mentioned, the 46,876-mile United States Interstate Highway System is still an amazing network of roads. President Dwight D. Eisenhower got the inspiration for the system from the high-speed roads he saw in Germany.
The idea was to provide roads that would help domestic military forces respond to emergencies, but being able to quickly transport goods around the country also drastically improved the economy. Construction on the system began in 1956. While the original portion of the road was completed in 1992, additions and improvements leave many people to argue it’s an ongoing project with no real end date.
While you might not have a construction project as grand as these marvels, if you find you’re in need of construction equipment rentals to help complete your project, contact BigRentz to discover the equipment to help you get the job done.