Hero Image
Photo by Lakeview_Images/iStock Photo

1 Belt and Road Initiative

VIEW HONOREES

The most ambitious infrastructure undertaking in the world, this US$8 trillion or so Silk Road reboot encompasses more than 1,800 projects across more than 60 economies that are home to 65 percent of the world’s population. As China invests in the developing world on an unprecedented, transcontinental scale, it’s also looking to extend its reach as a global power.

2 Panama Canal Expansion

VIEW HONOREES

A more than US$5 billion expansion to handle larger vessels has doubled the canal’s capacity since it began operating in 2016. That’s expected to add an estimated US$2.1 billion in annual revenue for Panama by 2021—ensuring one of the biggest and most significant engineering feats in history doesn’t get stuck in the past.

3 Channel Tunnel

VIEW HONOREES

A vital link between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, this 31.5-mile (50.5-kilometer) undersea tunnel was inaugurated in 1994 and now enables roughly one-fourth of all trade goods between the two economic powers, at an estimated annual value of nearly €140 billion. In today’s Brexit era, the so-called Chunnel isn’t only a logistical tie but an important symbolic one as well.

4 Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge

VIEW HONOREES

The longest bridge in the world took four years and a workforce of nearly 10,000 to complete. When it opened in 2011, that hard work paid off, allowing lightning-fast connections between Shanghai and Nanjing, China.

5 Ground Zero Master Plan

VIEW HONOREES

How to honor the memory of a global and national tragedy while also nurturing a vibrant local neighborhood? After the plan was conceived in 2002, it took a dozen years to align stakeholders and execute on the vision. Today the site is a tourist destination and vibrant commercial hub, featuring public spaces, a reshaped transit concourse and a performing arts center.

6 Seikan Tunnel

VIEW HONOREES

Each day, tons of cargo travels along the world’s longest undersea tunnel and second-longest railway tunnel—a vital connection between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan since it opened in 1988.

7 Three Gorges Dam

VIEW HONOREES

The world’s largest hydroelectric power station (in terms of installed capacity) generates 11 times more power than the United States’ Hoover Dam while increasing the cargo delivery capacity of the Yangtze River. It’s also one of the most notorious infrastructure projects in modern history: By the time the dam opened in 2003, 1.4 million people had been displaced to make way for the enormous initiative.

8 TAT-8 Fiber-Optic Cable

VIEW HONOREES

An early step in developing the World Wide Web happened well below sea level, with the first transatlantic fiber-optic cable that connected the United States, United Kingdom and France in 1988. It was one of the largest telecom projects in the world, with more than 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) of cable.

9 Rio-Niterói Bridge

VIEW HONOREES

This six-lane box-girder bridge, opened in 1974 after six years of construction, stretches across Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s the longest bridge in Latin America and a transportation game-changer for some 100,000 passengers daily.

10 Singapore Changi Airport

VIEW HONOREES

Ever since this airport opened in 1981, it has been redefining the traveler experience, with a free movie theater, rooftop pool, 400-plus retail shops and cutting-edge technology. That keen focus on user-centered design helps more than 65.6 million annual passengers navigate the space without the friction and frustration of typical air travel.