Whether engineering is an art, a skill, or just a regular profession, history has shown that through engineering, mankind is continuously surpassing expectations and our natural limitations. There are many great civil engineering projects all over the world, but here we countdown the ones that transcend time and continue to impress and inspire new generations.
10. Qingdao Haiwan Bridge
Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, also known as Jiaozuo Bay Bridge, is the world’s longest bridge over water at 41.58 km (25.84 miles). It connects the city of Qingdao in Eastern China with the Huangdao suburbs, across the water of Jiaozuo Bay. The bridge was designed by the Shandong Gaosu Group, and it took four years to build, with at least 10,000 workers employed for its construction. Also, its construction costs equate to 900 million in British pounds.
9. Burj Khalifa
As the tallest structure in the world, standing at 829.8 meters, Burj Khalifa in Dubai was designed as the centrepiece for a new development called Downtown Dubai. The building was named in honour of the ruler of Dubai and president of the United States Arab Emirates. It was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), and the design is inspired by the patterns and structures in Islamic architecture. The structure cost $1.5 billion to build. At the time of its opening in 2010, it had the highest observational deck in the world. The building has even featured in popular culture, as it can be seen in 2016 film, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’. Burj Khalifa has broken numerous other records, including building with most floors at 211 and it has received immensely positive reception.
8. English Channel Tunnel
The channel tunnel links Folkestone, Kent in the UK with Coquilles, Pas-de-Calais in northern France. Despite Japan’s Seikan tunnel being longer overall, the channel tunnel has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world. It carries high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, as well as Eurotunnel shuttle for road vehicles, which is the largest transport system in the world. When it opened in 1994, the final cost came in at an astounding £9 billion, making it the most expensive construction project ever at the time.
7. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is often considered one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. This $27 million project is a suspension bridge that spans the golden gate strait, connecting the city of San Francisco to Marin County. It opened in 1937 and was until 1964, the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge is one of the most recognised and influential symbols of the United States.
6. Hoover Dam
Constructed during the Great Depression, the Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. The construction of the Hoover Dam claimed hundreds of workers’ lives, and impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. The dam is named after President Herbert Hoover, and it took five years to build and cost around $49 million.
5. Panama Canal
Panama Canal is a 48-mile waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal consists of several artificial lakes and channels, and two locks at either end. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is crucial for international maritime trade. Work on the canal began in 1881, and it was finally opened in 1914, costing the Americans $375 million.
4. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the United States, and it’s both a suspension and cable-stayed bridge. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. The bridge was initially designed by German engineer, John August Roebling, but due to his death, he was replaced by his son, Washington Roebling who took charge of the project. It cost $15.5 million to build. Since it opened, it has become a historic icon of New York City, and was designated a historic landmark in 1964.
3. Aqueduct of Segovia
More precisely known as the aqueduct bridge, this Roman aqueduct is one of the most significant and best-preserved ancient monuments left on the Iberian Peninsula. It is located in Spain and is the symbol of Segovia, and has been kept in excellent condition over the centuries. It provided water to Segovia until the 19th century.
2. Great Wall of China
With a history of more than 2,000 years, many sections of the Great Wall of China are in ruins, but it is still one of the greatest wonders of the world, and an immensely popular tourist attraction. The Great Wall stretches from Dandong in the east to Lop lake in the west. The entire wall with all its different branches, measures out to be 13, 171 miles. It isn’t possible to know exactly how much the wall would have cost to build, but modern calculation say it would be somewhere between $13billion and $65 billion.
1. Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex, bordering El Giza, Egypt. It is believed that the pyramid was built as a tomb for the fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh, Khufu and was constructed over a twenty-year period. It is believed by many that Khufu’s vizier, Hemon, or Hemiunu, is the architect who designed the pyramid. It remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Also, experts estimate that it would cost around $5 billion to build a replica today.
So, over the centuries, we have seen many great civil engineering projects that have become historic landmarks and icons. Engineering has created some of the biggest structures in the world, and are a showcase of our ability to construct a unique vision. Every engineer will have a different opinion on the most impressive creations, but these ten are widely considered the greatest. However, there are many other engineering creations that have impressed the world, such as the Millau viaduct, which is the tallest cable-stayed road bridge in the world. Also, as recently as 2015, the Shanghai Tower skyscraper in China, was completed and it’s now the second-tallest building in the world. The future is bright for engineering, as advanced technology will pave the way for even more stunning creations.
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