Impressive infrastructure projects are our pride and glory. They are the proof that the man masters this Earth and that we are developing more and more each day. The most impressive constructions in the world, may they be bridges, building, damns or airports, truly show our real nature, never satisfying whit what we had already achieved, ever trying to build more, to go further , to raise higher. This is a list of the man’s 10 impressive infrastructure projects:
1.Mponeng, South Africa
Maybe its name doesn’t tell you much but you should know this is the world’s deepest mine. In search of one of the world’s most desired metals, gold, mankind has gone up to 3.8 km into the ground. To give you a better idea of what that means let your imagination put about 10 buildings like the Empire State Building on top of each other and you’ll understand just how deep this mine is. About 6,000 tons of rocks are excavated from this mine on a daily basis. At a cost of $550 per ounce of gold extracted, the mine needs to recover only 0.35 ounces of gold per ton excavated to remain profitable while the reserves are estimated to be around 5.5 million ounces.
2.Burj Khalifa, Dubai
One of the recent most impressive infrastructure projects in the world was finished in 2010, Burj Khalifa occupies a well deserved place in our top being the world’s tallest building measuring an incredible 828 meters and having 162 floors. You’re probably wondering how much something like this could have cost? Wonder no more, the total cost of the entire project comes up to a staggering 1.5 billion USD, and if that doesn’t blow you away, then know that window washing here means big work, namely having 12 cranes, each of 13 tones, transporting 36 workers which then have to clean 24.830 windows, operation which takes 3 months.
If I were Thomas the Tank Engine then this would probably count as running the trains’ marathon. The Transsiberian is the world’s longest railway, measuring 9259 km connecting Moscow with eastern Russia and the Sea of Japan. This year the railway celebrated 120 years since its inauguration in 1916. Despite its age, this railway is by far one of the most representative infrastructure projects of the 20th century. Nowadays, the Transsiberian is not a museum piece but a reality of the Russian transport system since it crosses and connects regions in which 80% of the country’s industrial potential is located and more than 30% of Russia’s exports travel on this line.
4.Gothard Base Tunnel, Switzerland
Located under the swiss alps, still a work in progress, in a few years this will be the longest railway tunnel in the world. Once this infrastructure project will be completed, in 2017, it will stretch up to 56.3 km, which is longer than the Seikan underwater tunnel in Japan. The whole project costs an amazing 8.4 billion euro and it is meant to ease both transport and commerce. Even though the length will be around 57 km, there will be a whole network of tunnels going through those mountains measuring around 153 kms. The interesting part is that there are actually 2 parallel tunnels at a distance of 40 m of each other at a constant depth of 550 m below sea level. It’s estimated that nearly 24 million tons of rock will have been excavated by the time this project is completed which is about 5 times the material used in Keops’ pyramid. I wonder what they’ll do with all that rock!
5.Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico
You probably remember this next megastructure either from the movie Golden Eye part of the Bond series or from Contact. The observatory includes the world’s largest radio telescope. Every year over 100.000 people visit this weird “saucer” shaped observatory with a diameter of 304, 8 meters. Cosmic objects are identified with the help of its equipment which hangs at 150 m above the antenna. This telescope helped obtaining detailed maps of planet Venus, details of asteroids, data concerning our own ionosphere as well as details on pulsars and hydrogen present in other galaxies. It’s no then that it is considered one of the largest infrastructure projects in the history of mankind!
6.Nurek Dam, Tadjikistan
Situated on river Vakhsh in Tadjikistan this is the world’s highest dam. Completed in 1980 it reaches a height of 305 meters and it generates 98% of the electricity used in this country. One of the longest infrastructure projects, it took 19 years to finalize and the central core is all made of concrete which forms a waterproof barrier. The dam also forms a lake with a capacity of 10.5 cubic km, a length of 70 km and a surface of 98 square km.
7.Hangzhou Bridge, China
Since this made headlines just about everywhere, I’m sure you know our next contender. Just a few days ago China inaugurated the world’s longest bridge over water with an incredible length of 42,4 km which links the port city of Qingdao with Huandao. The 33,5 meters wide bridge costed a staggering 6 billion euro and lasted a just 4 years. It is sustained by more than 5.000 poles and it is 5 km longer than the previous holder of the world’s longest record, a bridge located in Louisiana, USA. But this is not all, the bridge will only hold this record for a few years since the chinese are already working on another project which will link Guangdong province with Hong Kong and Macau, project which will have a length of 48,2 km and a bill of 7,2 billion euro and will be finalized in 2016.
Claiming to be the world’s longest underwater gas pipeline, this infrastructure project was developed to transport natural gases from Norway to England. Construction began in 2004 and two years later on finalized. The pipeline has a total length of 1.200 km and for its construction a million tons of steel were used. It can pump a maximum of 25, 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The total cost of this project was 1.7 billion pounds.
9. Large Hadron Colider, Switzerland
If you’re a physicist then this is probably the coolest playground you want to be in. LHC is a particle accelerator, situated in the Alps just near Geneva. Having a circle shape with a 27 km circumference it is situated 100 meters under the ground, this place was one of the costliest infrastructure projects ever. Construction was finalized in 2008 and the total cost was of 3 billion pounds. This project was developed so that protons moving very close to the speed of light could be smashed into each other in order to try recreating the conditions right after Big Bang. With all those buttons there, let’s just hope nothing goes bad!
This ranks as the world’s tallest cable stayed Road Bridge and is located in France. The bridge has a length of 2.460 meters. This infrastructure project which was finished in 2004 cost 400 million euro. It actually broke three world’s records, the first being for the world’s tallest pylons, of 245 m and 221 m in height, the highest bridge tower in the world, 343 meters and the highest bridge road in Europe 270 m above Tarn River at its highest point.