It may seem like the world slowed down since the beginning of 2020, but many huge construction projects are still in the works, with new ones cropping up all the time. For the first time in history, Canada’s infrastructure spending on the top 100 projects has exceeded $250 billion.
Below are some of the largest ongoing infrastructure projects around the world.
1. Go Expansion Projects – On Corridor, Canada
At the cost of an estimated $16.8 billion, the On Corridor expansion represents the largest infrastructure program Ontario’s government has ever taken on. The project will beef up Metrolinx’s rail service to run two ways, with all-day service every 15 minutes across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Bids on the multi-year procurement process will close in 2021, with construction expected to begin in 2022 and 2023.
2. California High-Speed Rail, United States
In another public transit infrastructure project, the California High Speed Rail will connect the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Centre and Union Station in Los Angeles to the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, all at a $96 billion CAD price tag. The project represents the first high speed rail system planned for implementation in the US.
When complete, the project is expected to deliver riders from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Trains will reach the maximum speed of 354 kilometres per hour. The project has had some delays, but the plan is still to have the Central Valley portion of the project running by 2028, with the full line operational by 2033.
3. Chuo Shinkansen, Japan
Also known as the Tokaido Shinkansen Bypass, the Chuo Shinkansen rail line will connect Tokyo to Osaka and is part of the Japan Railways (JR) network of high-speed rail lines. Construction of this 397-kilometre section of above and below ground line began in 2014. The section between Tokyo to Nagoya will be delivered first, with an estimated completion date in 2027, while the construction of the Nagoya-Osaka section should finish in 2037.
Using superconducting maglev technology, trains actually levitate 10cm thanks to magnetic forces between onboard magnets and ground coils. Since the contactless system creates no friction, the line will be capable of moving trains at a maximum speed of 505km/h.
4. Bruce Power Refurbishment, Canada
Bruce Power is Canada’s only private sector nuclear generator, which produces nearly a third of Ontario’s power each year. A Canadian-owned partnership between TC Energy, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Systems, the Power Workers’ Union, and the Society of United Professionals, the Bruce has signed a $13 billion plan with the province to refurbish six of its eight units.
A year into the project, the work on Bruce 6 is still on track despite pandemic-related delays. Reactors 3 to 8 are scheduled for work throughout the project, which will replace key reactor components to lengthen the life of each by an estimated 30 to 35 years.
5. ITER, France
ITER, formerly known as International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is a joint project between 35 nations valued at nearly $25 billion CAD. Created in an attempt to revolutionize energy production by recreating fusion reactions inside the Sun, ITER’s construction consists of three buildings. It required developers to create several different types of concrete to shield workers from radiation.
Construction began back in 2010 with the four-year process to create ground support structure and seismic foundations. This included excavation of the pit, laying a basemat, putting up retaining walls and 493 seismic pillars, and a second basemat. The construction and assembly are expected to be complete by 2025.
6. Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia
In the works since 2011, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was completed in 2020, but its use remains contentious. The structure stands at 155 metres, stretching the width of the Blue Nile at almost 1,800 metres in length. When the reservoir is full, the 10 million tonnes of concrete used to create the main structure will contain 74 cubic kilometres of water.
This project’s cost is estimated at over $74 billion CAD and was funded heavily by the Ethiopian government. Though there have been concerns about the project from Sudan and Egypt, since the diversion of water will impact both, the dam is expected to create enough power to significantly change the lives of millions of Ethiopians.
Changing the Face of the World
Though the world has been affected by the pandemic, construction companies continue to work hard. Major construction projects forge on, many of which will reshape the world we live in.