18 Major Infrastructure Improvement Projects That Are Changing the World

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Having a solid infrastructure is often critical for a countries operation, allowing people to travel with greater ease, create a valuable energy source to support local business, or even capture radio signals originating more than 1,000 light-years away. While the financial investments can be great, the large projects outlined here are designed to help people thrive, making the cost worthwhile.

As reported by Business Insider, these projects are significant in scale, making them some of the largest infrastructure projects in the world.

Pingtang Telescope

Considered the world’s largest radio telescope, the Pingtang Telescope in China can capture signals coming in from over 1,000 light-years from Earth.

Gotthard Base Tunnel

After opening in June 2016, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland allows travelers increased efficiency when crossing the Alps. The 35-mile long tunnel is the longest as well as the deepest train tunnel on the planet.

Panama Canal Expansion

The $5.4 billion project tripled the capacity of the Panama Canal.

“The Bridge” Skyscraper

With an estimated completion date in 2026, “The Bridge,” a 3,779-foot skyscraper project in Iraq, will include a “veil” of solar panels designed to produce as much energy as the finished project will consume.

Jiaozhou Bay Bridge

This 26-mile bridge connects the eastern coast of China to the island of Huangdo. At nearly 26 miles in length, it is the longest cross-sea bridge which allowed people to make the journey to and from the island in half the time that was previously needed.

Itaipu Dam

Located on the border of Brazil and Paraguay, the Itaipu Dam generates more energy than any other dam in the world and is capable of supplying 75 percent of Paraguay’s total energy needs as well as 20 percent of Brazil’s.

Crossrail Project

The London Crossrail Project is a major overhaul of the area’s current Underground system. 10 new train lines will be added as well as new tunnels for additional connections between 30 existing stations. The project is anticipated to be complete in 2020.

Jasper Solar Farm

Located in South Africa, the Jasper Solar Farm is the largest solar project on the continent and has the ability to produce approximately 180,000 megawatt-hours annually, enough to power an estimated 80,000 homes.

Hyderabad Metro Rail

This 46-mile-long light rail system will bring communication-based train control to the country of India.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

The project is designed to connect three cities within China’s Pearl River Delta, creating one mega-city with a population of around 42 million people.

Mall of the World

Estimated to be nearly nine times larger than the Mall of America, the Mall of the World in Dubai will be entirely temperature controlled, have its own transit line, and will include thousands of hotel rooms to house visitors. Its scheduled completion date is in 2029.

Smart Cities by Alphabet Inc.

The parent company of Google, Alphabet Inc., is working on designs for “Smart Cities” that will feature Internet access and automated technology, as well as renewable energy sources.

Riyadh Metro

Featuring 109 miles of railway, the Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia will feature a station designed by Zaha Hadid while also completely changing how residents of the city move throughout the area.


The South Korean city of Songdo, considered a “Smart City,” provides Internet access to nearly every located within the area, including the city’s 67,000 residents, laying the groundwork for future technological innovations that could change how people live their lives on a daily basis.

Lagos-Calabar Coastal Railway

A joint venture between China and Nigeria, this railway will extend approximately 871 miles between the cities of Lagos and Calabar.

South-North Water Transfer Project

This water transfer project is an ongoing effort to relocate about 45 billion cubic feet of water, originating from the Yangtze River, to the northern regions of the country.

Sognefjord Tunnel

Announced in July 2016 by Norway, the project would create a floating tunnel beneath the large body of water to facilitate faster travel throughout the area.

Turkey Urban Renewal Project

A plan that began in 2012, the Turkey Urban Renewal Project intends to demolish approximately 7 million at-risk structures and replace them with earthquake-resistant buildings. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $400 billion, and the work will take nearly 20 years to complete.