Top 10 most expensive construction projects in the world
The amount spent creating some of the most iconic structures in the world is eye-watering. Here is a run-down of the 10 most expensive construction projects.
Coming in at $22.4 billion, the Channel Tunnel stretches 31.4 miles connecting Britain with France. Buried beneath the English Channel, it is the favourite means of people to cross the watery divide between the UK and mainland Europe.
But, the cost was 80% more than that estimated due to escalating safety demands, security and environmental measures. The project started in 1988 and began operation in 1994.
 9. The Big Dig
The whole project was concluded on the last day of 2007, ten years behind schedule and costing millions of dollars more than expected. As well as cost overruns, there were delays, leaks, design flaws as well as alleged substandard material as well as a few arrests and a tragic death.
In at number 8 is the space programme Apollo at $25.4 billion. It is an amazing feat of human endurance and technology and includes the 1969 moon landing. It took tremendous effort but once the moon was landed on, interest gradually dwindled and the programme was deemed too expensive to continue.
Coming in at $29 billion, Kansai International Airport is in Japan’s second largest city, Osaka.
Planning started back in the 1960s and is certainly a feat of engineering. It balances on a man-made island in the water, making it hopefully immune to earthquakes and other ‘freak accidents’.
 6. California High-Speed Rail
Work started in 2015 and is tipped to reach $98.5 billion, way over its original budget. The high-speed bullet train is expected to reach speeds of 220mph connecting major US cities from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
 5. Dubailand
Announced in 2003, the project is expected to cost in excess of $76 billion. It is an ambitious leisure development and although not complete, is one of the most expensive projects ever undertaken.
Dubai decided it needed an attraction geared toward families and this is the solution. It is expected to be opened before 2020.
 4. King Abdullah Economic City
Staying in the middle east, this city being built in Saudi Arabia is expected to come in at $95 billion. It will be slightly bigger than Washington D.C and be home to 2 million people.
 3. Kashagan Field
At $116 billion, the largest oil discovery in the Caspian Sea has seen the continuous development of the Kashagan Fields.
As well as man-made islands, there have been many difficulties in the construction including leaks and problems drilling into fields of oil under high pressure. Operations are expected to start in 2017/18, with 13 billion barrels of oil expected over its lifetime.
 2. International Space Station
The ISS orbits the earth and fires our imagination about space. With costs at around £150 billion, the information gathered by astronauts is providing invaluable data. It is a collaborative project with the UK and Russia heavily involved in the NASA led project. But in 2020, the space station will crash into the ocean, the project over.
At $459 billion, this American project connecting more than 47,000 miles of highway is still the most expensive construction project to date.
Taking 35 years to complete, work began in 1955 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was seen as critical to national defence, providing more routes for access and egress under war conditions.
Which projects do you think will surpass these listed in the current top 10 most expensive construction projects?
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 7 Engineering Wonders of the World.
- 9 of the world’s most impressive structures.
- Buildings in film.
- Buildings that were never realised.
- Tallest buildings in the world.
- These giant infrastructure projects are set to reshape Africa.
- Top 10 skyscrapers located in the UAE.
- Top architectural wonders of Dubai.
Featured articles and news
CEOs and high-level executives explain who they expect to be the most successful players in the future of construction.
What are package contracts and how are they broken down? Find out in our introductory article.
Identifying sustainable shoreline protection solutions in the face of rising sea levels and storms in the US.
Budget documents state modern methods of construction will be favoured for public infrastructure schemes from 2019.
A walk-through exhibition of an emergency humanitarian shelter is officially opened at BRE's Innovation Park.
How to work safely on a construction site during winter.
Housing is the big winner in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Budget.
The winner of our BSRIA competition, Tomorrow's challenges in today's buildings, is.... Bob Hendrikx. A big thank you to everyone that took part.
Committee of MPs accuses government of dealing billpayers a 'bad hand' over the guaranteed power price.
In 1992, the Joint Fire Code was first published. What influence does it still have on construction sites today?
"Companies will have to adapt or go out of business" - how are virtual reality and big data disrupting digital construction?
International Well Building Institute and BRE collaborate on multiple levels to advance human health through better buildings.
"The industry has tried moving away from prescriptivism to focus on performance, but maybe that’s no longer working".