Engineering marvels of the 20th century

Engineering marvels of the 20th century

Technology has advanced at a breakneck speed in the last two decades. But, its seeds were sown long back in the early part of this century. In fact, it was more challenging in earlier times to create landmarks that would stand the test of time. The kind of engineering marvels that were built with limited resources still stand tall and have proved path-breakers in engineering terms.
There are innumerable examples that can be cited to corroborate this. But, there are some structures that are commonly lauded across all surveys and rankings and feature in the top projects of the century globally.
The Panama Canal tops this common list. This famous canal completed its centenary in the year 2014. Initially France began work on The Panama Canal in 1881, but had to suspend it owing to practical difficulties. Consequently US formally took over the project and built the canal between 1904 and 1914. This man-made 48 mile (77 Km) waterway is supposed to be one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. It reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy and risky Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America. By 2012, approximately over 815,000 vessels had passed through the canal.
The Channel Tunnel, completed in 1994 is a 50.5 Km rail tunnel linking Kent in England and Coquelles in France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At 37.9 Km the tunnel has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world.
The Empire State Building in New York, USA was designated as U.S. National Historic Landmark in June 1986. It once again became the tallest building in New York City after destruction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Located in Midtown Manhattan, this 102 storey skyscraper with a height of 1,250 ft. to roof and 1,454 ft. to top of antenna spire was completed in 1931.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA is a suspension bridge spanning the opening into San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It is 2,737m long, 27m wide, and its towers rise 227m above the water. It is known to be one of the most beautiful and most photographed bridges in the world.
Apart from above, The Sydney Opera House, Australia, The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium, Beijing, China are included among the top engineering marvels of the 20th century.

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