A megaproject can be defined as having extreme complexities, have substantial impacts on communities, budgets, and the environment, and cost more than $1billion. As well as transport mega projects, other areas can include oil and gas, energy, aerospace, weapons, and even sporting events.
Megaprojects can create an abundance of engineering and technical jobs during construction, as well as permanent positions whilst the project is running. For example, Dubai’s international airport accounts for 21 percent of Dubai’s total employment.
Below, we look at a selection of transport megaprojects that are currently under construction across the globe.
Hong Kong –Zhuhai - Macau Bridge (Asia)
The project consists of a series of tunnels and bridges connecting Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai in China. The link comes to a total of 31 miles (the longest bridge section being roughly 18 miles) and is expected to cost $10.6billion.
The construction project began in 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2017. It is claimed that the time to travel from Hong Kong to Zhuhai or Macau will be reduced to half an hour, compared to the current time of more than 3 hours.
California High Speed Rail (US)
The high speed rail link is currently under construction and is split into phases. Phase 1 will connect Anaheim to San Francisco, and phase 2 will extend the line northwards to Sacramento and southwards to San Diego, connecting major cities along the way.
Istanbul New Airport (Middle East/Europe)
The new airport will be based on the European side of Istanbul, and is poised to be the largest airport in the world. The airport will have an annual capacity of 150 million passengers and is expected to cost a total of $29 billion.
Construction of the airport started in 2015, is due to be operational in 2018, and totally completed before 2030. As of June 2016, 27% of the project was completed.
WestConnex Sydney (Australia)
A motorway development connecting the M4 and M5 motorways and bypassing the Sydney CBD. It has been described as the biggest project in Sydney since the Harbour Bridge and is estimated to cost a total of $12.6 billion.
It aims to quicken journey times whilst increasing capacity, and reducing congestion in the CBD, and includes improvement of existing road infrastructure. The final phases are expected to be completed by 2023 and tunnelling underneath Sydney recently begun this month.
London Crossrail (Europe)
The project connects central London with Reading and Heathrow in the west, and Shefield and Abbey Wood in the east. The project includes building 10 new stations and upgrading 30 more.
The total project cost is $19.4 billion and is currently Europe’s largest infrastructure project. The eastern section is due to open in December 2018, whilst the western section is due to be open December 2019, and will carry as estimated 200 million passengers per year.