The Channel Tunnel, Hong Kong International Airport, US Interstate… these multi-billion dollar projects were completed at great expenses by countries keen to boost infrastructure for trade and business.
The average cost of the top 10 most expensive transport projects so far is around $10 – $20 billion. But future projects are getting bigger, bolder, more complex and as a result, far more expensive. So here’s a look at the 10 mist expensive transport projects of the future 50 years or so.
The National Trunk Highway System
The National Trunk Highway System in China is to be a network of limited access roadways set to be completed in 2020.
Expected to cost $240 billion, the new highway system will expand the current expressway of China which is already the longest combined network of roads in the world.
California High-Speed Rail
Expected to cost in the region of $98.5 billion alone, the California High-Speed Rail project will link Northern and Southern California via a new route through the central valley of the state.
Linking the major cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as scope to extend to San Diego and Sacramento, the project has been steeped in controversy due to the expense of the project. Per kilometer, the rail line costs around $56 million, which is double the cost of similar projects in China and Europe.
Phase one is expected to be completed in 2033.
Japan is taking high-speed rail to a new level. The Chuo Shinkansen rail between Tokyo and Osaka will cost $88.5 billion and take another 21 years to complete (2045).
The planned line will send trains hurtling from Tokyo to Osaka at speeds of over 500km/h and complete a journey that currently takes nearly 4 hours via rail in just 67 minutes.
High Speed 2
One of the biggest transport projects in British history, the new High Speed 2 train line with span the length of the country, linking London to the North of the country and even central Scotland.
A controversial build due to the high expected costs of around $72 billion, the project is expected to be completed in 2032.
Barcelona Metro Line 9
The new line 9 of the Barcelona Metro in Spain is a rapid transit rail project that upon completion will be the longest automated transport network in Europe.
The new line will split into two and will span almost the entire metropolitan area of Barcelona with new tunnels and track.
Costing an expected $26.3 billion, construction has already begun and should be completed by 2016.
The Crossrail project is another major transport link being built in the UK as the government tries to make closer the business links between the North and South of the small isle.
With an expected cost of $25.8 billion, the new railroad should be completed within the next four years.
Sunda Strait Bridge
The Sunda Strait Bridge in Indonesia is a megaproject linking new rail, road and bridges between the islands of Sumatra, Bali and Java.
Once completed, the route will include several of the worlds’ longest suspension bridges and cost around $20 billion.
Second Avenue Subway
Costing $17 billion and expected to be completed as early as 2017, the New York Second Avenue Subway was long envisaged by planners and councillors and will be ready to take passengers in just a few months.
The new line will see 200,000 users a day take to its trains to get around one of the busiest cities in the US, 16 new stations will be built on a project that has had so many hiccups and delays that it has been dubbed by locals “The Line that Time Forgot”.
Istanbul New Airport
Still in the planning stage, the Istanbul New Airport in Turkey will become the largest airport in the world, carrying 150 million passengers a year.
Expected to cost around $13.4 billion, the project is expected to be completed before 2020.
Gotthard Base Tunnel
Well under construction and expected to be completed before 2017, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in the Swiss Alps is a railway tunnel that upon completion will be the longest in the world.
With over 150km of tunnels, shafts and passages cut into the mountains, the tunnel will cost $10.6 billion upon completion, and will help increase the total transport capacity across the region, especially between Germany and Italy where freight demands have grown.
About the Author
Written by Arthur Wilson, staff journalist at Road Traffic Safety Signs: The Road Equipment Specialists. Follow him on Twitter @Ayup_Arthur.
Photo credit: Royalty Free / iStock / NASA