Civil engineering projects are often incredible, massive works of practicality, utility, and art. To be able to produce some of the most eye-catching, useful, and incredible bridges, canals, dams, and buildings takes exceptional planning, execution, and labor. Many of the most famous civil engineering public projects have lasted hundreds and even thousands of years.
Public civil engineering projects are responsible for some of the most famous civil engineering structures in world. Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive ones that have been constructed to date, from a range of different time periods here on Planet Earth.
The Burj Khalifa Building
The Burj Khalifa Building, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is currently the world’s tallest building. Since its completion in 2009, this incredible feat of civil engineering stands at an unbelievable height of 2,722 feet, reaching almost half a mile into the sky. Its breathtaking height and beauty are unmatched by any other building on our planet.
Its empty weight is said to be over 500,000 tons and requires over 946,000 liters of water to operate daily. Its architecture is influenced by traditional Islamic architecture and it’s the centerpiece of downtown Dubai. Built at a cost of $1.5 billion, it’s easy to see its astonishing uniqueness.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Moving from the newest civil engineering feat to the oldest on our list brings us to the Great Pyramid of Giza. At over 4,500 years old, it’s the last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. For over 3,800 years, it stood as the tallest structure on Earth. The main pyramid of the three was built as the tomb of Khufu, an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled during the fourth dynasty. Adjusting for inflation, it is estimated to have cost $1.2 billion to build.
The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous civil engineering accomplishments of the 20th century. It connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County. Designed by Joseph Strauss, its 1.7-mile steel-constructed design makes it one of the most photographed bridges in the world. It was built at a cost of $35 million at the time and completed in 1937.
The Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a civil engineering feat of epic proportions. It connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at the Isthmus of Panama and is a vital component of maritime trade. Taking 33 years to complete at a cost of $639 million (over $16 billion in today’s cost), it’s one of the biggest civil engineering projects to ever be completed.
The Hoover Dam located in Nevada is a concrete arch dam that created the largest man-made lake in the Western Hemisphere. Over 100 workers died during its 5-year construction during the years of 1931 to 1936. Originally named The Boulder Dam, it was renamed for President Herbert Hoover in 1947.