Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mega construction projects in China

For about two decades straight, day-and-night, 24/7, China has been the world's construction ground, with architectural marvels and giant infrastructure springing up at a swift rate and on an enormous scale. The Beijing Olympics set some ungodly tight deadlines on a few of these projects, but with sheer drive, massive manpower, capital investment, and the directive planning power of the state, nearly all of these mega projects have been completed in a matter of years — unheard of anywhere else in the world.

The world may know about pieces like the Bird's Nest, the Qinghai-Tibet railroad, and the Three Gorges Dam, but here are some others that have been delivered around China in the past 5 years.

1. Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, biggest building in the world:

2. Yangshan deep water port and East China Sea bridge (stage 1 completed)

3. Hangzhou Bay sea bridge, longest sea bridge in the world

4. Suzhou-Nantong Yangtze River bridge, longest cable-stayed main span in the world

5. Beijing-Tianjing inter-city rail, fastest rail speed in the world

6. Shanghai maglev, to be extended to Hangzhou

7. Shanghai World Financial Center, tallest building in the world by roof height (before Dubai completes its)

8. Beijing National Theater (The Egg)

9. CCTV tower (structure completed)

Among the ongoing and planned ones that will be completed in the next decade or so are the Beijing-Shanghai high speed rail, the Caofeidian port, the Lingang city (with a huge circular artificial lake), Changxing Island shipyard. Of course, there are still an unimaginable number of other projects going on, rapidly expanding cities, highways, bridges, tunnels, dams, nuclear reactors, airports, diverting water from the south to the north, etc… makes one dizzy just thinking about it.

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