History, Other stories

The Most Expensive Construction Projects in The World

We live in a world of possibilities where simple ideas can be turned into grand construction projects. Some of these construction projects take you miles above the earth while others transport you deep into the ground. These projects utilize the best construction tools and the latest technology. The world’s 10 biggest construction projects will leave you amazed by what humans are capable of when they use sheer ingenuity and top-notch construction tools.

1) Big Dig


Undoubtedly one of the world’s toughest and priciest engineering projects, the Big Dig price tag upon completion was 14.8 billion, an astounding price compared to the initial 2.6 billion. Big Dig took 30 years to complete and opened 5 years behind schedule in 2007.Workers built the Big Dig as traffic moved overhead on Boston’s Interstate 93. Massive boring machines and other construction tools were used to push prefabricated tunnel sections beneath existing underground train lines and below the frozen earth. Since the funds to build the Big Dig were borrowed, the project will ultimately cost $22 billion by the time it is paid off (2038).

2) The Chunnel


Also known as the Chunnel Tunnel, this project is comprised of three 50-kilometer long tunnels beneath the English Channel. The Chunnel connects the UK and France and was one of the priciest construction projects (at $21 billion) upon its completion in 1994. The British and French governments both joined in the construction project which took 6 years. It provides an excellent mode of transport for people and cargo between the UK and France.

3) The Millennium Dome


Open only for a year, the dome was built for the sole purpose of celebrating the millennium. The dome’s construction cost was a whopping $1.1 billion. Its maintenance costs were off the roof (at $363,950 per month). Its naming rights were later sold to the company O2. It was later renamed O2 Arena after being renovated for $1.2 billion pounds by Anschutz Entertainment, its new owners. It now hosts concerts, travelling exhibitions, a movie multiplex, and sporting events.

4) The International Space Station (ISS)


This is the largest manned object in space. Measuring 43,000 cubic feet, it looks like 2 Boeing 747 planes positioned next to each other. 16 nations, 100,000 people, and numerous corporations have come together to create this stellar project. By its completion, the U.S alone will have contributed $100 billion. The European State Agency has placed the ISS’s assembling and running costs for 10 years at $123 billion.

5) The Sagrada Familia


Also called the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family, Barcelona’s Cathedral is still in the construction phase. The Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is comprised of delicate spires that rise high into the sky. It is filled with sculptures, friezes, intricately detailed carvings, and other ornaments. In the year 2009 alone, construction cost £18 million.

6) Montreal-Mirabel Airport


With a construction price of $1 billion, this airport sits practically empty and unused. It was built using fine construction tools in preparation for the 1975 Olympics. With 6 terminals and 6 runways, it was supposed to be among the world’s largest airports. Political and bureaucratic struggles prevented this from happening.

7) Future Imagery Architecture Satellites


The satellites were designed to be next generation spy satellites that could work in poor weather and at night. The US government spent $10 billion on two satellites that were to be manufactured by Boeing, a company not familiar with manufacturing satellites with sophisticated optics. By the time the project was terminated, the US government had spent approximately $18 billion.

8) MOSE Project


After Venice experienced a disastrous flood in 1966, talks began about building an experimental electromechanic module. The project’s aim is to reduce flooding and stop Venice from sinking into the lagoon on which it’s built. Presently, Venice floods about 100 times a year. The MOSE project seeks to place 78 hinged metal gates in the lagoon’s 3 channels which will be located on the sea floor. The project’s estimated cost is between $5.5 and $10.4 billion.

9) Iridium Satellites


This was a network of 66 satellites created by Motorola engineers to provide universal satellite data, phone, and fax services. It was supposed to enable people to communicate anywhere, anytime. The satellites were to be launched for $5 billion. The company wasn’t able to launch all of its satellites and closed shop 474 days after opening.

10) Ryugyong Hotel North Korea (DPRK)


Located in Pyongyang, this building is comprised of 3 slabs that meet at the apex forming what looks like a pyramid. At a height of 1,082 feet, the 105 story building is undeniably one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. It was intended to be a 3,000 room hotel but it’s never seen completion. The construction project lasted approximately 5 years (1987-1992) and stopped when the project’s funding dried up. The building’s cost was $426 million

Published on behalf of Mr. Darren, a passionate blogger who works as a civil engineer.

If you have any questions, please ask below!