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Top 10 Most Expensive Construction Projects in the World

Top 10 Most Expensive Construction Projects in the World

They say technology can do anything, which is true to an extent but to use these technologies one needs money. The more money you spent, the better is the outcome. With money and technologies people have redirected mountains, made way through biggest of mountains, made artificial islands and have done many near to impossible things and created history.
If money on these technologies is spent wisely, it can benefit not just the country but world by giving cheaper mode of transport from one country to another, better option for supplying goods, help in its future endeavors etc. Here is a list of the most expensive construction projects undertaken in the world.

10. The Channel Tunnel

Top ten most Expensive Construction Projects in the world
The channel tunnel

It is 50.5km long rail tunnel connecting Folkestone in Kent, UK, with Coquelles near Calais, France, under the English Channel. The longest portion of the tunnel that’s under water is of 37.9kms and the lowest point is 250fts deep. The speed for the train in tunnel is limited to 160kms/hr. The tunnel is use for carrying passenger trains, Shuttles and Freight trains. The concept of such tunnel was proposed in the year 1802. After that many proposals were made and finally in 1988, the construction started with about 15000 labours on daily basis. The construction cost at that time came up to 4.650 million pound or $22.4 billion. The tunnel started operating in 1994.
In construction work, British group constituted of 2 banks and 5 construction companies and French group constituted of 3 banks and 5construction companies. Since the tunnel has been construction, it has faced like fire and cold weather, which has interpreted its operations.


9. The Big Dig

bigdigbefore1
The Big Dig —Photo via bostonglobe.com

Officially known as Central Artery or Tunnel Project, was massive and involved rerouting of a lot of major highways in Boston. The Central Artery (I-93) highway was rerouted to go under the main city, into the 5.6km long Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Tunnel. It was one of the most expensive projects of the US and had to face problems like increasing costs, leaks, schedule overruns, design flaws, use of low quality material, poor execution, one death and criminal arrests.
The project was suppose to complete in 1998 but was completed in December 2007 with an approx cost of $14.6 billion. But after including all the cost like interest, compensation the total came up to $23.1 billion.


8.   Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport
Kansai International Airport–Photo via wpanoramio.com

The cost of the airport is estimated to be $29 billion. The airport is on an artificial island, in the mid of Osaka Bay, Japan. The airport was designed by Renzo Piano, an architect from Italy. It is hub for Japan Airlines, Nippon Airways, Nippon Cargo and Peach- a low cost international carrier. The airport started its operations on Sept. 4th, 1994, to reduce traffic at the international airport of Osaka.
The construction started with making an artificial island in the year 1987. They had to cope with a lot of risk of typhoons and earthquakes. The sinlikg of the artificial island due to weight of construction was obvious. But in the year 2008, the sinking was severe and the airport was called a geotechnical disaster.


7. California High-Speed Rail

CA-High-Speed-Rail-in-Caltrain-Blended-System
California High-Speed Rail Photo via sf.streetsblog.org

It is rail system with high speed. It is presently under construction in California. It is going to run at a speed of 220 mile/hr and will link Anaheim with San Francisco. CHSRA, state agency, manages the project. The project will have two phases. In the phase I, it will cover about 840kms and will be completed by 2029. Phase II will cover about 1300kms and has no fix date.
In a recent report published, it was stated that the project is running behind schedule, but they are still committed to complete it by 2029. According to the new business plan, the cost of the project is estimated to be $33+billion. The cost estimated is just for Phase I; this shows how expensive the project will turn out to be.


6. Songdo International Business District

Top ten most Expensive Construction Projects in the world
Songdo International Business District—Photo via en.wikipedia.org

Also known as Songdo IBD is a newly developed city in the area of 600 hectare. The city was developed from scratch and is located 65kms from Seoul, a city in South Korea. It is considered in the history of real estate as one of the largest private development. The city was planned to consist of 80,000 apartments, 900,000 sq. meters for retail space and 5,000,000 sq. meters for office space. Although it’s not complete yet, it’s been built with sustainability and is environmental friendly with more number of walkways and bicycle paths. The estimated cost of the 10yr long project was estimated to be $40+billion.


5. Dubailand

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dubailand –Photo via qline-liwan.com

Entertainment complex constructed in Dubai, UAE and owned by Tatweer. The project was announced with an approx cost of $64.3 billion and was considered as most leisure development proposed anywhere. The construction got affected by financial crisis in Dubai and recession. Due to such circumstances, the project stopped in 2008 but again started in mid 2013 and is expected to complete before 2020.
The land is spread 278km sq. of area and has 45 big projects and 200 small projects. It has 6 parts: Sports and outdoor world, Attraction and experience world, Eco-tourism world, Downtown, Themed Leisure and Vacation world, and Retail and Entertainment world. The land will be twice as big as Walt Disney World Resort and will have the biggest collection of theme parks.


4. King Abdullah Economic City

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King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia—Photo via newcitiesfoundation.org

A project proposed in 2005 by the king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The city is spread in an area of 173 sq km, along red sea coast and is 100km from north Jeddah. The cost of the project is estimated to be around $86 billion.
The city has been divided into six parts: Sea port, Residential Area, Educational zone, Sea Resort, Central Business District and Industrial Zone. The project is mostly managed by Emaar Properties, who are known building Burj Khalifa.


3. Kashagan Fields

Top 10 most Expensive Construction Projects in the world
Photo via businessinsider.com.au

Situated in Caspian Sea, they are oil fields in the Offshore of Kazakhstan. They were discovered in the year 2000 and is considered to be the largest discovery in past 30yrs. The estimated cost of the project is approx $116 billion. It is going to produce 90000 barrels oil approximately every day. The total oil that can be extracted is whopping 13 billion barrels.
The project has been facing many problems like pipe leaks and high pressure, which makes drilling into the pipes dangerous. The partners in the project are Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, INPEX, China National Petroleum Corp, AgipKCO and KazMuniaGas.


2. The International Space Station

The International Space Stationv
The International Space Station—photo via extremetech.com

It is an artificial satellite in the Earth orbit. The first component was sent into the orbit in the year 1998 and presently it’s the biggest artificial body in the orbit and is visible from earth at time with naked eyes. The purpose of the satellite is maintenance; provide transportation and staging base for future endeavors to Mars, Moons and asteroids. From 2010, it’s been used for diplomatic, educational and commercial purposes.
The total cost is estimated to be $150 billion. According to the plan, the satellite will be destroyed in the ocean in the year 2020, which is after 26yrs of its service. It’s a joint project of Roscosmos, NASA, JAXA, CSA and ESA. Space tourist, astronauts and cosmonauts of 17 different countries have visited the station.


1. The US Interstate Highway System

The US Interstate Highway System
The US Interstate Highway System—Photo via slate.com

Also known as Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, is a collection of control access highways and component of National Highway System of US. The construction took about 35yrs and some routes were never built. The total length of the highway is 77,017km and is 2nd longest after the highway in China. The construction of the highway started after signing the act and the work started on 26th Sept. 1956. The highway was claimed to be complete by 1992. Initial, the cost was estimated to be $25 billion for 12yrs but finally, the estimated cost after inflation was $425 billion and took over 35yrs of time. Even though it took many years and high cost, it was worth it and helped many companies lower their shipping charges and was used for evacuation during hurricane Katrina.

The other part of highway is, it has improved the mobility from and to seaports, airports, military bases and rail terminals for military troops. The highway finances were majorly funded through fees paid by the users and fuel taxes by local, federal and state government. Very small amount was paid through the tolls on the highway. The speed limit on the highway varies between 50-70mph from place to place.


Top 10 Most Expensive Construction Projects in the World

Sr No. Most Expensive Construction Projects
1 The US Interstate Highway System
2 The International Space Station
3 Kashagan Fields
4 King Abdullah Economic City
5 Dubailand
6 Songdo International Business District
7 California High-Speed Rail
8 Kansai International Airport
9 The Big Dig
10 The Channel Tunnel

Even though these projects were huge and took many years and faced many issues, on completion, they worth the every penny spent and help the country in ways like increased tourism and its economy. So, next time when you are in any of these countries, do visit these places and I am sure it will become a life time experience for you.

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