With advances in building materials, energy efficiency and engineering methods never seeming to slow down, we’ve seen some truly remarkable construction projects go up recently. And it seems 2018 is going to be no exception! Take a look at some of these awe-inspiring projects either already underway, set for completion this year, or breaking ground as we speak.
Coming this year – Extension of the Al Maktoum Airport, Dubai
With no less of a goal than taking over from the world’s busiest airport, Dubai International, the extension of the Al Maktoum airport is set to begin this year. Once completed, the airport will be able to handle 200 wide-body aircraft at a time and extend over a whopping 21 square miles. The aim is for this grand facility to take over in 2025, and be able to handle a mind-blowing 240 million passengers each year.
Opening soon! – Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, Hong Kong
As with any mammoth construction project, delays and setbacks are simply a part of the deal. Originally set to open in 2017, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (or HKZMB, only slightly less of a mouthful, granted) will open to traffic on the 1st of July 2018 this year. And when we say mammoth, this project involved the construction of three giant bridges, one undersea tunnel, and even the construction of three manmade artificial islands. The system connects Hong Kong with Macau and Zhuhai, three of the major cities on the Pearl River Delta in China, and stretches over 55 kilometers or 34 miles!
In progress right now – California High Speed Rail, Southern California
In a country as vast as the USA, getting between major cities has always posed a challenge. Enter the California High Speed Rail system, which once completed will whizz passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 2 hours and 40 minutes at a gob smacking 220 miles per hour. Aside from this, the plan is to complete around 800 miles of track across the state, connecting most of the large cities and 24 different stations via bullet train. Although it’s received harsh criticism for its eye-watering price tag, the project could offer a real alternative to short-haul flights and lengthy car journeys for the first time, as well as providing huge opportunities for retail and business in and around stations, and reducing the traffic burden in major cities. As always, progress comes with a price!
Coming this year – the London Crossrail Project
The world’s very first underground rail system shows no signs of slowing its spread, and 2018 will see the first new tracks of the London Crossrail Project going into service. Once the final expansion is completed, (planned for 2020) another 26 miles of tunnel connecting 40 stations will have been added to the world famous network.
In progress and coming soon – World One residential tower, Mumbai, India
Set to become perhaps the world’s most beautiful apartment tower with its unusual and elegant ‘cloverleaf’ design, World One will also be the tallest residential building in the world when it is completed in 2019. The final building will consist of 117 floors, with 18 elevators to serve its 300 separate apartments.
2018 is decision time for Grenfell Tower
The tragic fire which befell the Grenfell Tower in 2017 and cost 72 lives is still fresh in the minds of many Londoners – but the next question is what becomes of the burnt shell that remains. Many people feel that the tower, which serves as a painful reminder of the tragedy, should be demolished entirely. Whatever the final decision, 2018 will be the year when its fate is likely decided.
Starting this year – Hudson’s Development, Detroit
Set to begin soon, this redevelopment will give downtown Detroit a major facelift. The mixed-use space will include 400 residential units, 240,000 square feet of office space,100,000 square feet of retail space, and will include 700 parking spaces as well as the new tallest building in town. Set to cost about $1 billion, the project aims to be completed by 2022.
In progress – Big Ben and Palace of Westminster refurbishments
It’s currently a very different looking London, as the iconic London landmark of Big Ben is enclosed on all sides with scaffolding while conservation and restoration work takes place. The clock chimed for the last time in August of last year, and won’t do so again until work is completed in 2021. The tower is currently undergoing a staggering £61m refurbishment.
People the world over are building their own homes
While giant construction projects like these are far beyond the reach of us mere mortals, another trend we’re seeing continue in 2018 is people getting more involved in the construction of their own houses. With endless inspiration to be had online and rental services like tool and forklift hire becoming more accessible to the average man on the street, this is one trend we hope to see around for a long time still!