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Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Wade
Architects and engineers are artists in their own way; they are constantly pushing the limits of construction, defying the odds and laws of gravity in order to create structures that serve more than just a functional purpose. These structures become landmarks and statements of accomplishment to the world. From the pyramids of Egypt to the Empire State Building, this race to reach the heavens has been going on for centuries and continues today.
This installment of the Top 10 features all sorts of construction projects — not just skyscrapers — that are either in the process of being completed or for which the plans have been finalized.
Check out what the future holds for these impressive, colossal and often record-breaking projects.
Note: All amounts of money are in U.S. dollars.
The Big Dig – Boston, MassachusettsOne of the most aggressive and intensive urban projects in North America, the Big Dig set out to remedy Boston's infamous congestion problem. The six-lane Central Artery highway had carried commuters since the 1950s, but when traffic became jammed for 10 hours a day in the '80s, city and state governments decided to completely overhaul the downtown infrastructure.
The project built two bridges, a tunnel and, most amazingly of all, it destroyed the Central Artery and built an even wider highway underground. Over 5,000 workers contributed to the Big Dig, laying the 7.5 miles and eight to 10 lanes of highway, pouring the 3.8 million cubic yards of concrete and displacing 16 million cubic yards of soil.
Trivia: The project created more than 300 acres of new parks and open areas in the Boston region.
Queen Mary 2The largest passenger ship ever built, the QM2 is basically a floating city. Replete with a casino, a nightclub, a spa, a wine bar, 15 restaurants and bars, a library, and even a planetarium — this ship makes the Titanic look like a kayak. The liner, which can carry more than 2,620 passengers, took almost a year and a half to build and made its maiden voyage on January 12, 2004.
A huge ship to say the least, QM2 weighs 151,400 gross tons, generates 157,000 horsepower and cost an astounding $800 million to construct. Those interested in taking a vacation on this hulk should expect to shell out at least $1,499 for a six-day transatlantic trip.
Trivia: At 1,132 feet, the Queen Mary 2 is more than twice as long as the Washington Monument is tall, and is 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower.
Beijing Airport - Beijing, ChinaPart of Beijing's massive infrastructure overhaul for the 2008 Olympics includes the construction of what is to be the world's biggest airport. Englishman Sir Norman Foster, who designed current world-record holder Hong Kong International Airport, submitted plans for this new gateway to China's capital in late 2003, and plans continued to develop throughout 2004.
The Chinese government has toyed with the idea of scaling back the grandiose project, which is set to take three years to complete, in an effort to quell its image as a showboat. But if Lord Foster has anything to say about it, this $2 billion airport will be a real humdinger.
Trivia: The proposed roof of the airport covers an amazing 80 acres.
The world's highest bridge, an amazing construction project in the sea, and more...