These ancient civil engineering achievements, such as the 7 Wonders of the World, have dominated the human imagination to this day. In fact, many of them have inspired modern engineers to surpass their own limitations and expectations. Check out below for top 7 engineering achievements from both ancient and modern history.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable suspension bridge in the New York City. It is one of the most famous engineering achievements in the city’s history. The original construction began in 1869. However, the bridge did not open until 1883. John August Roebling, a German engineer, was the original designer. However, upon his death, his son Washington Roebling replaced him. They built it at a cost of $15.5 million USD. In today’s money, with inflation, that would equal over $367 million USD. It has had many names including the New York, Brooklyn, and East River Bridge. Additionally, it has also gone by the name of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is located in San Francisco, California. It holds the distinction of being one of the greatest engineering achievements in the history of the world as well as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. It opened in 1937 and at the time was the world’s longest and tallest suspension bridge. It held this title until 1964. This suspension bridge is almost 1 miles (1.6 km) wide and connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County. It cost $27 million to build the bridge. Due to its beauty, it is one of the most photographed bridges in the world as well as one of the most influential symbols in the US.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is over 2,000 years old. The wall is one of the world’s greatest engineering achievements. However, today, parts of it stand in ruins. The ancient Chinese made the wall as a series of fortifications from wood, tamped earth, stones, and bricks. The Chinese built the Great Wall along its northern border in order to protect the Chinese kingdoms. The main threats were nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe such as the Mongols. They built some of the original wall as early as 7th Century BC. Over time, the Chinese joined sections of the wall to make it bigger and stronger.
The Panama Canal is a 47.8 miles (77 km) long canal that cuts across Isthmus of Panama and conects the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. Engineers began construction of the canal in 1881 and completed itin 1914 at a cost of $375 million USD. However, in today’s dollars, that would be over $9.3 billion USD! Even today it remains an important conduit for maritime trade.
The Palm Islands are located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is part of Dubai’s initiative to turn itself from a oil producing nation into a tourist destination. Other parts of this plan include the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The Palm Island consists of three artificial islands: Jebel Ali, Deira, and Palm Jumeirah Island. Construction of the island started in 2001. However, construction was slow and by 2011, they had only completed Palm Jumeirah.
The Hoover Dam is located on the border of Arizona and Nevada in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. The heavily traveled Route 93 originally ran along the crest of the dam until the opening of Hoover Dam bypass in 2010. US construction engineers built the Hoover Dam between 1931 and 1936. However, they officially dedicated the dam to the then president Franklin Roosevelt on September 30, 1935.
Burj Khalifa (UAE)
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. It stands at 2,722 feet (829.8 meters) talls. Opening in 2010, it also holds a lot of other records including the world’s highest observation deck and the most number of floors (211). In 2008, officials declared it the world’s tallest building.The building is located in Dubai and is the centerpiece of its modern development. The designers named it in honor of Burj Khalifa, the president of United Arab Emirates.