The World’s Largest Infrastructure Projects | The B1M

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00:00   |   Mar 20, 2019


The World’s Largest Infrastructure Projects | The B1M
The World’s Largest Infrastructure Projects | The B1M thumb The World’s Largest Infrastructure Projects | The B1M thumb The World’s Largest Infrastructure Projects | The B1M thumb


  • The world we all inhabit relies on built infrastructure.
  • Without it we wouldn’t be able to transport
  • food, goods or services, we couldn’t power our homes or access clean water, we couldn’t
  • travel or commute.
  • Quite literally enabling our societies to function, the importance of infrastructure
  • has grown significantly in recent years as the global population expands, and as more
  • people than ever are living in cities.
  • Once a rare occurrence, multi-billion-dollar infrastructure schemes have now become the
  • norm as governments around the world strive to keep pace with growth, raise living standards
  • and enable further economic development.
  • Pushing engineering to the limits, impacting billions of people and generating some almost
  • unfathomable statistics, these are the largest infrastructure projects currently under construction
  • on each of the six inhabited continents.
  • We begin our journey in Oceania, where – despite decades of successive governments favouring
  • highways and toll roads – significant investment is now being made into mass transit.
  • As a result, the Sydney Metro is currently the largest infrastructure project
  • under construction on the continent.
  • Consisting of 31 new and upgraded metro stations, the project is on track to deliver Australia’s
  • first fully automated rail service.
  • Originating in the city's northwest, the new line will travel for 66 kilometres, tunnelling
  • under Sydney Harbour and the densely developed central business district, before heading
  • back out toward the southwestern suburbs.
  • At a total cost of USD $14.7 BN – equivalent to AUD $20.8 BN at the time of filming – the
  • first phase of the project is set to open in 2019 while phase two will complete in 2024.
  • Widely recognised as one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in human history,
  • China’s vast Belt and Road initiative aims to better connect the country with its surrounding
  • markets, boosting trade and economic growth.
  • The “road” element of the project will re-trace parts of the historic Silk Road that
  • ran between Europe and Asia for many centuries, while the “belt” aspect will create a
  • maritime link with India and East Africa.
  • The Chinese government believe that the project heralds a “new era of globalisation” which
  • will see countries like Russia, India, Iran, Egypt and Pakistan benefit from the numerous
  • sub-projects in the overall masterplan.
  • Despite this, many see the scheme as an attempt by the Chinese to further expand their sphere of influence.
  • With an estimated cost of USD $900BN, across some 68 countries, the Belt and Road Initiative
  • not only aims to connect China with 65% of the global population but to fill the increasing
  • infrastructure gap and accelerate growth across Central and Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the country’s colonial-era railway infrastructure
  • has steadily fallen into a state of disrepair with freight and passenger numbers decreasing
  • throughout the latter half of the 20th century.
  • Now, in the wake of unprecedented growth and the country’s emerging status as an African
  • powerhouse, the Nigerian government are investing billions into replacing and upgrading their
  • rail systems.
  • The largest of these projects is the USD $8.3BN Lagos-Kano railway, a near 1,000km link that
  • will connect Nigeria’s two largest cities to a number of regional centres and its capital,
  • Abuja, significantly reducing journey times.
  • With Nigeria’s population set to nearly double to 390 million people by 2050, its
  • government will need to continue and even exceed this level of investment in the decades
  • ahead if it is to match growth and raise living standards across the country.
  • While the Grand Paris Express was set to replace Crossrail as Europe’s largest infrastructure
  • project at the end of 2018 – delays to London’s new railway have awkwardly helped it retain its status.
  • The entire 117-kilometre route runs from Reading and Heathrow in the west, beneath central
  • London and out to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
  • With 41 new and upgraded stations and over 42 kilometres of new tunnels under one of
  • the world’s most historic and densely occupied cities – the project is by far the largest
  • undertaking in Europe, with initial the estimates of USD $19BN (£15BN) soaring to USD $32BN
  • (or almost £25BN) since works began.
  • The largest infrastructure scheme currently under construction in South America is Colombia’s
  • USD $25BN fourth generation (4G) Roads and Highway Programme.
  • Consisting of some 30 major projects – from tunnels and bridges to viaducts and an additional
  • 3,742 kilometres of highways – the programme aims to improve connectivity across Colombia.
  • While a number of these schemes are already underway, the programme in its entirety is
  • expected to take a staggering 28 years to complete.
  • Finally in North America, the controversial USD $63BN California High-Speed Rail project
  • is expected to cut the rail journey time between San Francisco and Los Angeles to
  • 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • While the idea of linking these cities by land has been around for many years – even
  • forming the basis of Elon Musk’s hyperloop proposal in 2013 – construction
  • works on the high-speed line only commenced in 2015.
  • Set to form the first stage of California’s larger High-Speed Rail network – which will
  • include connections to Sacramento and San Diego – the project is facing severe delays
  • and cost overruns with its initial completion date of 2028 now pushed back to 2033.
  • If you enjoyed this video and would like to get more from the definitive video channel
  • for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

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We travel from east to west and bring you the largest infrastructure projects currently under construction on each of the six inhabited continents. For more by The B1M subscribe now: http://ow.ly/GxW7y

Read the full story on this video, including images and useful links, here: https://www.theb1m.com/video/the-worlds-largest-infrastructure-projects

Images courtesy of Transport for NSW, Pastor Sam, Olusola D. Ayibiowu, Lao Tze, Google Earth, Crossrail and California High-Speed Rail Authority.

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