If you look at social media then you would certainly get the impression that we humans really aren’t so great. The truth, however, is very different and whilst we may have our moments, lots of them in fact, we are also at our very best when we are reaching for the stars and aiming to do things which have never been done before.
One area in which we do this very well is in civil construction, which is the building of infrastructure which involves anything to do with water, earth or transport. Over the years humans have taken this area of engineering to some of the greatest lengths and we are consistently looking to push the envelope in terms of what we can achieve and what we can find solutions for around the world. Reddy Kancharla has been in this industry for is an entire career and what inspired him to become a civil engineer was seeing these feats of human greatness and wishing to become a part of it, which he certainly did. Reddy has joined up with us for this piece as we are going to delve into some of the world’s most impressive civil construction projects.
1. Millau Vaiduct – France
During the summer months, the route between Paris and Barcelona can become very heavily congested and in order to solve that, the government of France commissioned a bold project to help alleviate some of the traffic. The result was the Millau viaduct which was built over the River Tarn near Millau in southern France. What makes this feat of engineering so impressive is that it is the world’s tallest cable-stayed road bridge, standing at a height of 1,125 feet at its highest point, and the road is one and a half miles in length. Surprisingly this mega structure was completed in just 3 years and owing to its height the designers had to come up with new techniques in order to lay the road.
2. Tide Barrier Project in Venice
Some engineering feats are impressive becasue of their scale and other because of their ingenuity and it is the latter category where this project falls. For many years there were debates as to how to stop Venice from sinking further and how to deal with flooding, which is what gave way to this fabulous tide barrier project. Featured around the venetian lagoon are 78 rotating gates which feature large metal boxes below the waterline, which occupy a space of around 6500 square feet. When the tide is high-water is emptied from the gates using compressed air, which sees the gates rise and block the water from entering into the lagoon, thus avoiding any flooding.
3. Palm Islands, Dubai
Dubai is very much a city with a forward-thinking approach and they have shown time and time again that they have a true passion when it comes to engineering projects. This is a desert city that has managed to create a ski-slope of real snow, not to mention its building of the highest tower in the world in the Burj Khalifa. Whilst the Burj certainly is impressive, perhaps the most impressive feat of engineering which we have seen in Dubai is the construction of the Palm Islands, a man-made archipelago. Sand dredging ships, newly designed machinery and true innovation all combined to create these impressive islands and they have lead the way in techniques which may very well be used around the world in the creation of more man-made islands and areas of land.
4. Channel Tunnel, UK and France
The world’s longest underwater tunnel was built between 1988 and 1994 and is widely considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The tunnel is 32 miles in length and it connects Folkstone, England to Coquelles in France. At its deepest point, the winner is 250 feet deep and there are actually 3 tunnels here which connect the two lands together. Two of the tunnels are used for rail and the third Nisan emergency tunnel which was built in case of fire or any other emergency. The Eurostar train which uses the tunnel is able to make the 23.5-mile journey in just 20 minutes and rides at a sped of 100mph. This is a truly incredible feat of modern engineering and it is studied by many young engineering students around the world for its innovative nature and its ability to solve a great problem of the time.
Which of these feats of modern engineering do you think is the most impressive? Let us know what you think in the comments below, we’d love to hear what you think about these mightily impressive civil construction projects.