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How do these announcements stack up against what's already out there?

We've compiled 25 of what we think are some of the most impressive engineering/construction achievements to date, taking into consideration the era in which they were built and the knowledge and materials that were available to the designers.

Many of these were inspired by the human impulse to travel, and those that weren't can now be enjoyed by travelers today.

Engineering can of course also include electronics and other micro feats -- arguably computers and smartphones are among the most successful, popular and influential pieces of engineering ever created -- but we're interested here in big, bold and brave.

Click through the gallery to see our selection, then let us know if you have any further additions in the comments.

Getting there

The Palm, Dubai, UAE

The Palm islands comprise approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand. <!-- --></br>In total, 210 million cubic meters of rock, sand and limestone were reclaimed (through dredging) to create the islands, with 10 million cubic meters of rock used in the outer ring alone. The rocks used for both islands were transported from 16 quarries throughout the UAE and the materials used are enough to build a wall that could circle the world three times. <strong>Completion date:</strong> September 24, 2008.

 

The Palm islands comprise approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand. In total, 210 million cubic meters of rock, sand and limestone were reclaimed (through dredging) to create the islands, with 10 million cubic meters of rock used in the outer ring alone. The rocks used for both islands were transported from 16 quarries throughout the UAE and the materials used are enough to build a wall that could circle the world three times. Completion date: September 24, 2008.

 

There are several tour operators within Dubai offering boat tours of the Palm.

 

Aqueduct of Segovia, Segovia, Spain

The Aqueduct, one of the Iberian Peninsula's best preserved ancient monuments, features 44 double arches (or 88 when counted individually) and 79 single arches -- a total of 167. <!-- --></br>It was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Trajan and is still in use today, carrying water from the Frío river to the town of Segovia. The bridge, which consists of 24,000 granite blocks, was constructed without the use of mortar and each of its 167 arches is more than nine meters high. <strong>Completion date: </strong>AD 50.<!-- --></br>

The Aqueduct, one of the Iberian Peninsula's best preserved ancient monuments, features 44 double arches (or 88 when counted individually) and 79 single arches -- a total of 167. It was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Trajan and is still in use today, carrying water from the Frío river to the town of Segovia. The bridge, which consists of 24,000 granite blocks, was constructed without the use of mortar and each of its 167 arches is more than nine meters high. Completion date: AD 50.

Segovia is an easy day trip from Madrid and can be reached by both train and bus.

Great Wall of China, China

The Great Wall of China is 8,850 kilometers long (5,500 miles) and was constructed over a period of 2,000 years. Construction began in 475 BC, to protect China from the invading Huns. During the Ming dynasty, between 1368 and 1644 A.D, it was given a makeover, with the addition of watchtowers, battlements and cannons -- some of which stand 980 meters above sea level. The mortar used to bind the stones of the wall is made from rice flour. <strong>Completion date:</strong> 204 BC.

The Great Wall of China is 8,850 kilometers long (5,500 miles) and was constructed over a period of 2,000 years. Construction began in 475 BC, to protect China from the invading Huns. During the Ming dynasty, between 1368 and 1644 A.D, it was given a makeover, with the addition of watchtowers, battlements and cannons -- some of which stand 980 meters above sea level. The mortar used to bind the stones of the wall is made from rice flour. Completion date: 204 BC.

Beijing International airport is the closest airport to any point of the Great Wall of China -- it's just a short taxi ride to the section known as Badaling Great Wall and there are also regular bus services.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

As many as 28 different varieties of semi-precious and precious stones were used to adorn the exterior of the Taj Mahal.<!-- --></br>Construction of the Taj Mahal took around 20 years, beginning in around 1632 and finishing around 1653. Exact dates are unknown. The building, which was made from white marble from the quarries of Rajasthan, appears pink in the morning, white in the day and golden in the moonlight. The building is symmetrical in every way, and was built as a memorial to the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. <strong>Completion date:</strong> 1653.

As many as 28 different varieties of semi-precious and precious stones were used to adorn the exterior of the Taj Mahal.
Construction of the Taj Mahal took around 20 years, beginning in around 1632 and finishing around 1653. Exact dates are unknown. The building, which was made from white marble from the quarries of Rajasthan, appears pink in the morning, white in the day and golden in the moonlight. The building is symmetrical in every way, and was built as a memorial to the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Completion date: 1653There are regular bus and train services connecting New Delhi with Agra.

Trans-Siberian railway, Russia

The Trans-Siberian Railroad connects Moscow and Eastern Russia with Japan, China and Mongolia.<!-- --></br>Northern Siberia isn't the easiest landscape to cross, which is what makes the 8,851-kilometer (5,500 mile) Trans-Siberian railway so impressive. Engineers had to design a railway that was capable of operating in temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius. The railway travels through eight time zones, 87 towns and cities and crosses 16 major rivers, including the Volga, Ob, Yenisey, Oka and Amur. Some 90,000 people helped construct the railway, which took 10 years to build -- pretty impressive considering the tools at workers' disposal were shovels, picks and wheelbarrows. <strong>Completion date: </strong>1904.

The Trans-Siberian Railroad connects Moscow and Eastern Russia with Japan, China and Mongolia.
Northern Siberia isn't the easiest landscape to cross, which is what makes the 8,851-kilometer (5,500 mile) Trans-Siberian railway so impressive. Engineers had to design a railway that was capable of operating in temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius. The railway travels through eight time zones, 87 towns and cities and crosses 16 major rivers, including the Volga, Ob, Yenisey, Oka and Amur. Some 90,000 people helped construct the railway, which took 10 years to build -- pretty impressive considering the tools at workers' disposal were shovels, picks and wheelbarrows. Completion date: 1904.

The full journey starts in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok, but passengers can join at numerous towns and cities en route.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

The Burj Khalifa has a height of 828 meters and is both the tallest building in the world and the tallest free-standing structure in the world. Engineers faced multiple challenges, including the strong winds that batter the tower. Because of this, over 40 wind tunnel tests were conducted, not just to determine how the wind would affect the building but also to test the cranes used to construct it. <strong>Completion date:</strong> January 4, 2010.

The Burj Khalifa has a height of 828 meters and is both the tallest building in the world and the tallest free-standing structure in the world. Engineers faced multiple challenges, including the strong winds that batter the tower. Because of this, over 40 wind tunnel tests were conducted, not just to determine how the wind would affect the building but also to test the cranes used to construct it. Completion date: January 4, 2010.The Burj Khalifa is located in downtown Dubai and is well-connected by public transport.

Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, Akashi Strait, Japan

It took 2 million workers 10 years to construct the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. <!-- -->
</br>It connects the city of Kobe, on Japan's mainland, with Iwaya on Awaji Island. Before it opened, the only way to get between the two cities was by ferry. However, the waterway was prone to severe storms and when two ferries capsized in 1955, killing 168 people, public outrage convinced the government of the need for a bridge. It's the longest suspension bridge in the world, with a length of 1,991 meters. <strong>Completion date: </strong>April 5, 1998.

It took 2 million workers 10 years to construct the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.
It connects the city of Kobe, on Japan's mainland, with Iwaya on Awaji Island. Before it opened, the only way to get between the two cities was by ferry. However, the waterway was prone to severe storms and when two ferries capsized in 1955, killing 168 people, public outrage convinced the government of the need for a bridge. It's the longest suspension bridge in the world, with a length of 1,991 meters. Completion date: April 5, 1998.The bridge is a short drive from Kobe Airport.

White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, Canada

Built during the Klondike Gold Rush and financed largely by British investors, the "railroad built on gold" was constructed in just 26 months, using 450 tons of explosives to blast through Canada's coastal mountains. Passengers should hold on tight -- the railroad climbs almost 278 meters in just 32 kilometers and has numerous other steep gradients of up to 4%.<!-- --></br>The railway still uses vintage cars, the oldest dating back to 1881. <strong>Completion date: </strong>July 29, 1900.

Built during the Klondike Gold Rush and financed largely by British investors, the "railroad built on gold" was constructed in just 26 months, using 450 tons of explosives to blast through Canada's coastal mountains. Passengers should hold on tight -- the railroad climbs almost 278 meters in just 32 kilometers and has numerous other steep gradients of up to 4%.
The railway still uses vintage cars, the oldest dating back to 1881. Completion date: July 29, 1900.Excursions start from Fraser, British Columbia. The nearest airport is in Vancouver.

International Space Station

The International Space Station cost $100 billion to build and involved 100,000 people in 15 nations. It also ranks as one of the more unusual construction sites, located 354 kilometers (220 miles) above Earth. The hazards faced by those carrying out maintenance go far beyond a falling hammer or nail gun injury -- one tiny rip in a protective spacesuit means instant death. <strong>Completion date: </strong>Ongoing.

The International Space Station cost $100 billion to build and involved 100,000 people in 15 nations. It also ranks as one of the more unusual construction sites, located 354 kilometers (220 miles) above Earth. The hazards faced by those carrying out maintenance go far beyond a falling hammer or nail gun injury -- one tiny rip in a protective spacesuit means instant death. Completion date: Ongoing.Astronaut qualifications and a rocket.

Panama Canal, Panama

More than 4.5 million cubic yards of concrete were used in the construction of this canal's locks and dams.<!-- --></br>The Panama Canal is a 77-kilometer (47-mile) long waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The earth and rubble excavated to make way for it was enough to bury Manhattan to a depth of four meters. A series of locks controls the flow of water; each of the moveable lock doors weighs 750 tons and each of the locks fills with 52 million gallons of water to accommodate the 15,000 ships that use the canal every year. <strong>Completion date: </strong>January 7, 1914.

 

The Panama Canal is best explored by organized boat tour, but Panama City's Tocumen International Airport is the nearest airport.

Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan

Take the Taipei MRT-Bannan Line to MRT Taipei City Hall Station. From there, walk towards Xinyi Road from exit number two to Taipei 101.

Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona, United States

The nearest airports are Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX), or the Las Vegas Airport(LVS). It takes around two hours to drive to the Skywalk from Las Vegas, but organised tours which depart from the city are also available.

Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai

The building is a 20-minute walk from Dongchang Road Pier. The nearest subway station is Lujiazui Station.

Millau Viaduct, Millau, France

The nearest train station can be found in the town of Millau, which is well connected to cities and towns throughout France. The closest airport is Rodez-Marcillac -- a 25-minute drive away.

London Underground, London

London's Heathrow Airport is connected to the London underground.

Kansai Airport, Osaka, Japan

Kansai International Airport is connected to most of the major international hubs. Osaka is two hours from Tokyo on the Shinkansen bullet trains.

Hoover Dam, Arizona/Nevada, United States

The nearest airport is in Las Vegas, 32 miles away.

Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

There are regular bus services from the centre of Cairo and it's also just a short taxi ride.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

There are regular buses to the bridge from downtown San Francisco, Marin County and Sonoma County.

Eiffel Tower, Paris

The closest Paris Metro station to the Eiffel Tower is Champ de Mars.

Confederation Bridge, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Travel to Prince Edward Island by ferry from New Brunswick. Charlottetown Airport is the island's largest airport.

Colosseum, Rome

There are regular buses to the site, and it's also possible to get there by tram -- look for the "Colosseo" stop.

CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

The CN Tower is in the heart of downtown Toronto. There are regular buses to Bremner Boulevard, where the tower is located.

 

Source: CNN



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