Civil engineering tends to be massive in scale by its very nature, but some civil engineering projects are so impressive that they stretch the imagination of what is possible. We bring to you the top 10 incredible modern marvels of civil engineering.
#10 US HOOVER DAM
At number 10 is Hoover Dam in Nevada, United States. Built during the Great Depression–from 1933 to 1936–the Hoover Dam sits on the Colorado River, it the largest-ever dam construction when it was built, the arch-gravity dam used several techniques in dam construction that were at the time untested. The result is a modern marvel of civil engineering that impounds the largest reservoir of water by volume in the United States.
#9 CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY
Launched by NASA on July 23, 1999, the Chandra Observatory is the world’s most power x-ray telescope. It is a satellite that allows scientists to obtain X-Ray images from high-energy regions of the universe. These images include events such as black holes, neutron stars, dark matter and supernovas.
#8 CHANNEL TUNNEL
The Channel Tunnel, also known as the Chunnel, is a 32 mile underwater rail tunnel that links England and France beneath the English Channel. It is the world’s longest stretch of underwater tunnel, that began in 1988 and was completed in 1994. Recognized as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Tunnel’s lowest point is 250 feet deep while the portion of rail underwater is 23.5 miles. Train speed reaches 100 miles per hour while a trip between the two cities takes only 20 minutes. The Tunnel plays a crucial role in connecting the two countries and serves the transportation needs of over seven million people a year who travel on the Eurostar trains.
#7 THREE GORGES DAM, CHINA
The Three Gorges Dam, located on the Yangtze River and one of China’s largest construction projects since the Great Wall. It is one-and-a-half miles wide, over 600 feet wide and almost 400 miles long. It however, is plagued with controversy. The dam has created ecological problems, such as landslides and pollution, and has displaced over a million people and flooded archaeological sites.
#6 THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER, SWITZERLAND
Have you ever wondered how the World Wide Web came about or how cancer treatments were developed? The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) played a tremendous role in these modern day breakthroughs. This modern engineering marvel lies underground in a 574-foot long circular tunnel with a 17-mile circumference. It is the largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.
#5 PALM ISLANDS, DUBAI
Perhaps one of the more massive innovative engineering feats, The Palm Islands are located off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf near Dubai. Known as the largest man-made set of islands, the project, which is being constructed by Nakheel Properties, a land developer in the United Arab Emirates, began in 2001 with the first of three islands, Palm Jumeirah. It is the world’s largest artificial island.
#4 THE BAILONG ELEVATOR, CHINA
The Bailong Elevator is the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. It is 1,070 feet high and consists of three double-story glass elevators. Also known as “Hundred Dragons Elevator,” the sight-seeing elevator, which takes two minutes to ride from the base to the top, can carry 50 people in one trip with a total of 18,000 people daily.
#3 NATIONAL STADIUM “BIRD’S NEST” CHINA
Nicknamed the Bird’s Nest for its intricate shape and lattice-like design, this astonishing structure looks more like a public work of art than an Olympic stadium. Designed by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the Bird’s Nest was built for the 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympics and seats 80,000 people. The world’s largest steel structure is one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly stadiums in the world.
#2 THE VENICE TIDE BARRIER PROJECT, ITALY
After 40 years of debating how to protect Venice from floods and to keep it from sinking further, The Venice Tide Barrier Project was instigated in 2003. This innovative engineering feat, which consists of 78 rotating gates, is designed to keep the sea waters from entering the Venetian Lagoon if high tides and storms are in the forecast.
#1 MILLAU VIADUCT, FRANCE
With its spectacular silhouette lines—somewhat reminiscent of the St. Louis Gateway Arch–The Millau Viaduct, which spans across the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France, is till date, the most impressive engineering ventures in the world.
Beyond any doubt, all these astounding modern man-made marvels can make anyone gasp in awe. With Vijay Sonkhia, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.