Progress requires high costs, monetary and otherwise. Developed countries heavily rely on their infrastructures, especially on public roads and other highways, to support their operations and economy. Thus, it only seems logical for them to invest on functioning and well-maintained transportation systems to help boost their economy.
Below are the top seven most expensive transport projects of all time from all over the world:
Interstate Highway System Network
The Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highway is a subsystem of the National Highway System. At 47,856 miles, this freeway system runs along almost all the states in the United States, complete with road markings and signposts to point to its different routes. It connects major US cities and crosses smaller towns all over the country. Estimated cost of construction is pegged at $425 billion.
High-speed Rail Network
The High-speed rail (HSR) in China is the longest high-speed rail network in the world. It cost 215 billion yuan, or roughly $32.5 billion. Commercial trains running through the railway service an average of 2.49 billion people everyday, and cover 28 provinces and regions in the country.
The Crossrail in England is a 73-mile railway line still undergoing construction, with operations projected to begin by 2018. This railway system will run along east to southeast of England and cut across a greater part of London. Projected costs are at 15.9 billion pounds (or $23.8 million, more or less).
Big Dig Central Artery/Tunnel Project
The Big Dig, or officially called the Artery/Tunnel Project or CA/T, began construction in 1982, opened in 2002, and became fully operational by 2007. It is a major infrastructure project in Boston that rerouted Interstate 93 into the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Tunnel. Construction cost over $14.6 billion.
Hong Kong International Airport
The second most expensive transport project in Asia is located on reclaimed land on the island of Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong. It serves as a passenger hub to different international destinations, most of which are routed to mainland China and other Asian countries. It is also the world’s most active cargo gateways, and houses one of the world’s largest passenger terminal buildings. Construction costs are pegged to be around $20 billion.
Second Avenue Subway
The Second Avenue Subway is still undergoing construction, with costs estimated to run up to $17 billion. It will be a part of the New York City Subway System, and is expected to carry an approximate 200,000 commuters daily from the 63rd Street Line to Second Avenue, upon its opening in 2016.
The Channel Tunnel (or Chunnel) is the longest underwater rail tunnel in the world, with over 50 kilometers of railway to link Kent, England and Calais, France. Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Channel Tunnel runs up to 75 meters deep, and consists of two single-track tunnels and one service tunnel. It cost $15.4 billion to construct, which was about eighty percent over its expected budget.
Transport projects are expensive and time consuming to build. But given the right amount of planning and execution, they could be an indispensible part of a country’s daily operations and aid in the country’s development and economic growth.