If you have ever visited New York City, you have likely admired its massive skyscrapers and the unique blend of architectural styles represented.
Some may think that the industrial era of massive construction undertaking is over, yet some of the most significant, ambitious construction projects in the world are currently under construction.
When considering the massive scale of these projects, it is important to remember the construction workers who built these projects, some of whom experienced severe workplace construction accidents.
The larger the project, the more important it is that employers and project managers promote safe work practices.
Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport
Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport is currently the largest airport in the world.
Located in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, the first phase of this airport opened in June 2010.
The Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, an entity responsible for planning Dubai’s airports, approved a 32.67 billion dollar airport expansion project in 2014.
After the project, slated for completion in 2020, the airport will likely host 100 million passengers.
By 2050, experts expect the airport to host over 100 million passengers, making it the airport able to host the most travelers in the world.
Aizhai Suspension Bridge, China
The Aizhai suspension bridge is one of the world’s highest and longest suspension bridges.
Anchored by mountains on either side of the suspension towers, the bridge spans 3,858 feet in total.
The bridge officially opened in 2012. Cars drive over 355 meters above the Dehang Canyon.
Channel Tunnel From France to the United Kingdom
The Channel Tunnel is a 31.35-mile long rail tunnel that connects Folkestone, Kent, England to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais France.
Astonishingly, the tunnel is located 250 feet below sea level at its deepest point.
While the Seikan Tunnel in Japan is longer overall and deeper below sea level, the Channel Tunnel has the longest continuously underwater section of an underwater tunnel in the world.
The Channel Tunnel opened in 1994 and carried 10.3 million passengers and 2.6 million cars through in 2017 alone.
At the time it was built, it was the most expensive project ever proposed, and it ended up costing over 21 billion dollars.
10 construction workers died as a result of construction accidents during the building of the channel tunnel.
Dubailand, United Arab Emirates
Scheduled for completion in 2025, the Dubailand megacomplex could hold three Walt Disney Worlds inside of it.
It includes sports venues, eco-tourism, science attractions, theme parks, a large hotel with 6,500 rooms and a mall that is three million square meters in size.
When completed, Dubailand will boast the world’s most extensive theme park collection.
Many have stated that Dubailand is the world’s largest leisure development project.
Dubailand will contain a park that is 1,4300 square meters, making it the largest public park in the country.
Located just 25 minutes from the Dubai International Airport, developers hope that the complex will draw millions of tourists a year and appeal to residents of Dubai.
The creators divide the complex into the following areas — Attraction and Experience World, Sports and Outdoor World, Retail and Entertainment World, Downtown, Eco-Tourism World, and the Themed Leisure and Vacation World.
International Space Station
The International Space Station is the world’s most expensive construction project ever built.
Many countries have combined to spend over 150 billion dollars, and planned expansion of the International Space Station will eventually cost over $1 trillion.
In November 1998, the first piece of the International Space Station, the Zarya Functional Cargo Block control center launched into space.
The International Space Station received its first residents in late 2000 when a three-person crew docked with the station.
Since then, international astronaut teams have continuously occupied the International Space Station.
Known as the most complex international construction project, countries around the world will continue to add to and improve the International Space Station.
California High-Speed Rail
The California High-Speed Rail (CHSR) is a rail system that is currently under construction in California.
When completed, it will connect the California cities of Anaheim and San Francisco.
Customers will be able to commute from Union Station in Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority anticipates that when it opens, over 28.4 million people will ride the high-speed rail per year.
When completed, the section of the railway that goes from Bakersfield to Los Angeles will be the first instance of direct transit between the two cities since the Southern Pacific Railroad’s route ended in 1971.
The total estimated cost of this massive construction project started with $53.4 billion and is now estimated to cost between $63.2 billion and $98.1 billion.
The estimated opening of the railroad will happen in 2029 for the first service and 2033 for the complete service.
The planning committee determines that a single person ticket from Anaheim to San Francisco will cost approximately 55 dollars.
South-to-North Water Transfer Project
China’s capital, Beijing suffers from a water crisis that is only getting worse.
Beijing will see an increase of 50% in terms of its water supply when the South-to-North Water Diversion Project begins operation.
The water transfer construction project started 11 years ago after Beijing’s water supply could not keep up with its rapidly increasing population.
If successful, the project will channel 1.05 billion cubic meters of water to Beijing from the Danjiangkou reservoir in China’s Hubei province.
The new water supply will increase the per capita water resources of Beijing by over 50%.
Once completed, experts estimate that the project will cost over $620 billion.
Not only is the financial impact of this massive construction project substantial but it will also force over 400,000 Chinese citizens who are in the middle of the new route to relocate.
Human imagination knows no bounds.
Modern technological capabilities and infrastructure provide the tools for the completion of some of the most massive and expensive construction projects.
While the result of these massively complex projects astounds us, we must also consider the substantial financial cost and amount of workplace construction accidents that can occur along the way.
The larger the construction project, the more critical it is that employers implement and follow safe construction zone practices.