When the Power of Siberia pipeline opened between Russia and China in December 2019, it pumped new energy into the natural gas industry and forged superpower polar bonds. Launched by Russian energy giant Gazprom, the five-year, US$55 billion project gives Russia much-needed access to a key market, while allowing China to extend its already wildly ambitious Belt and Road Initiative into the Arctic. The pipeline delivers natural gas 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) from Russia’s Siberian fields to northern China.
15th Most Influential Project of 2020
The massive new airport, which opened in September 2019, features the world’s largest airport terminal, spanning 7.5 million square feet (696,773 square meters). Based on a user-centric master plan created by Netherlands Airport Consultants and brimming with state-of-the-art technology, Beijing Daxing International is designed to streamline the travel experience. It will accommodate 45 million passengers by 2021, with expansion plans that would increase capacity to 72 million.
45th Most Influential Project of 2020
Part of Kuwait’s larger vision to reimagine the ancient Silk Road trade route linking China and the Persian Gulf, the AED1.1 billion Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah Causeway was completed in May 2019. It slashes travel time between Kuwait City and Subiyah (home of the Silk City development) from 90 minutes to less than 30.
37th Most Influential Project of 2020
Towering 359 meters (1,178 feet) into the sky, it will be the world’s tallest rail bridge upon completion in 2022. After a COVID-19 work delay, construction resumed this year on what sponsor Konkan Railways describes as the most challenging project of the company’s recent history. The Chenab Bridge is being constructed with blast-proof steel to withstand potential attacks and sensors to alert trains to stop if the winds are too strong.
Built on a tight, three-and-a-half-year timeline, the expansive new Champlain Bridge links commuters to Montreal and facilitates freight transport between Canada and the United States. Designed by architect Poul Ove Jensen, the CA$4.2 billion project was completed last year under a public-private partnership between the Government of Canada and Signature on the Saint Lawrence Group.
Disney World. Universal Studios. Epcot. Sea World. Orlando, Florida, USA pulls in a lot of tourists—and they needed a better way to get around. Florida’s Department of Transportation calls the reconstruction of the I-4 interstate a “much-needed makeover” that will include 27 enhanced sustainability and technology features. While the US$2.3 billion interstate revamp isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2022, the team was able to accelerate the project in April when roadway traffic dropped during The Great Lockdown.
Spanning 38.8 kilometers (24 miles), the Malir Expressway will speed up commute times for the growing population of Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi. The PKR39 billion project, which was approved in January, will create an expressway along the Malir River.
The airport in Chile’s capital is undergoing a major expansion to support increasing traffic. Currently the largest construction initiative in the country, the US$900 million project will double the size of the airport, from 90,000 square meters (968,751 square feet) to 200,000 square meters (roughly 2.2 million square feet). The added international terminal, which surpassed its halfway benchmark in July 2019, will increase the airport’s capacity to 30 million passengers per year.
Already home to the world’s longest bridge, Shanghai, China is now also home to the world’s longest bridge created by a 3D printer. Produced by a team from the Tsinghua University School of Architecture last year, the 26-meter-long (85-foot-long) pedestrian crossing was built by Shanghai Wisdom Bay Investment Management Co. Printed in 450 hours, the bridge comprises 44 concrete units, with embedded sensor systems that help the team track the structure’s condition in real time.
With its €1.3 billion project to expand Tangier’s port, Morocco is now home to the largest port in the Mediterranean in terms of container capacity. The city’s proximity to Europe has helped position it as a gateway for African imports and exports, particularly in the automotive and aeronautics industries. The port expansion megaproject, launched nearly a decade ago, finished in June 2019.