Project Management Institute

Moving ahead

Transportation Megaprojects face bigger hurdles—and, potentially, bigger payoffs

Megaprojects are the fabled giants of the project world. These large-scale, high-budget initiatives have earned a reputation as ill-fated--continuously late and over budget. But that reputation may not be entirely deserved. This article profiles five global transportation megaprojects that illustrate that these giants can be as effective as they are enormous. In doing so, it details the California High-Speed Rail project (California, USA) that when complete in 2029, it will stretch 520 miles (837 kilometers) at an estimated cost of US$68 billion. The article describes the Panama Canal Expansion project (Panama), which includes two new locks--one each on the canal's Atlantic and Pacific sides--widening and deepening the entrances and existing navigational channel to accommodate larger vessels, excavating a new access channel and increasing the maximum operating level of Gatun Lake. It also explains the Atlanta BeltLine project (Atlanta, Georgia, USA), a 25-year, US$3 billion urban redevelopment and mobility program that will turn 22 miles (35 kilometers) of historic rail corridors into a network of public transit, parks and trails. The article details the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) (Hong Kong) project, a joint effort designed to bridge the economic gap between Hong Kong and the western Pearl River Delta (PRD) region of Mainland China. Finally, the article examines the Maasvlakte 2 project (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)--a 3 billion project that will expand Europe's largest port by 20 percent, almost 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares).
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