Last month we took a look at the (new) tallest building in the world which belongs to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is The Jeddah Tower, which is set to trump the previous record holder for the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa. But, this isn’t the only impressive feat of civil engineering currently solidifying its place in the history books.

The projects detailed here are all projects that are utilizing new technologies, using new design philosophies, or simply becoming the biggest of their kind in the world. What remains clear is, civil engineering, globally, is ‘reaching new heights’ every year.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

This year marks the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge which crosses Lingdingyang in China. It has been dubbed the Longest Sea-Bridge ever built - it spans 34 miles (55 kilometers).

How long does a bridge like this take from the idea phase to the final construction phase? Only 15 years. The Chinese government tasked the engineers with testing the feasibility of a bridge that would traverse the Pearl River Delta in 2003. The bridge would be essential to China’s Greater Bay area and lead to economic prosperity. The bridge has been completed and is ready for use this month.

The bridge utilizes a bridge-tunnel system, which consists of a series of three cable-stayed bridges, and one undersea tunnel. There are also three artificial islands that now link Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai - three metropolitan cities.

Normally, the commute from one city to the next would take commuters three to four hours. Now, with the bridge in place, the travel time between cities will only be 30 minutes. The bridge construction cost: an estimated USD$15 billion.

The engineers of BYME Engineering brought together the latest in bridge building materials to construct the bridge.

Central Park Tower

A project that will also reach the billion dollar mark when completed is set to be Manhattan’s new jewel in its crown. It’s the Central Park Tower. It is located at 217 West 57th Street.

Central Park Tower
Source: Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture via CTBUH

The building is set to be a mixed-use building of the future. The architects and engineers have been closely following a construction philosophy called ‘Global Environmental Contextualism’ - a philosophy that will become increasingly popular. The idea is to design and construct with the natural environment in mind; using nature as an inspiration for designing.

The building, still under construction, will reach ‘supertall’ status (which is above 985 feet or 300 meters) upon completion. The Shanghai Municipal Investment Group and the Extell Development Company are behind the construction.

The construction will use the latest in cutting-edge engineering technologies and ensure the carbon footprint is as small as possible. It is expected to open in 2020.

Heathrow

The United Kingdom intends to expand Heathrow International Airport; an airport which has been in existence for 100 years. The expansion will officially make Heathrow the biggest airport in the world.

Heathrow
Source: Pixabay

The airport will add a third runway. Heathrow currently has 80 million passengers through it every year; the expansion will see the number rise to 110 million passengers by 2030. This will also make the airport the busiest in the world. According to CNN Travel, the airport is currently only the 7th busiest in the world.

The UK government obviously foresees an increase in the number of people flying locally and internationally and it will be a necessary injection of funds in a post-Brexit UK. British members of Parliament have just given the go-ahead for the new Heathrow runway, despite historical opposition.

The expanded Heathrow is expected to cost £14.3 billion (US$20 billion) and another hurdle: the houses that are presently located where the build is proposed. The villages of Longford, Sipson and Harmondsworth would need to be demolished if the airport goes ahead.

The expansion has been hotly contested, understandably. But the civil engineers are gearing up to start building this state-of-the-art runway at Heathrow. The move will generate many temporary and some permanent jobs too.

 

Works Cited

“11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future.” Interesting Engineering, 26 June 2018, interestingengineering.com/11-civil-engineering-projects-that-might-define-the-future.

“11 Civil Engineering Projects That Might Define the Future.” Interesting Engineering, 26 June 2018, interestingengineering.com/11-civil-engineering-projects-that-might-define-the-future.