Most Expensive Construction Projects Ever in the World (TOP 10)


Construction projects have always been monumental endeavors, pushing the boundaries of engineering, architecture, and finance. From towering skyscrapers to massive infrastructure projects, the cost of construction can reach staggering heights. Here, we delve into the top 10 most expensive construction projects ever undertaken, showcasing the scale and ambition of human ingenuity.

1. International Space Station (ISS) – $150 Billion

The International Space Station - $150 Billions

The International Space Station stands as a symbol of international cooperation and technological achievement. This orbiting laboratory, launched in 1998, required contributions from 15 nations. Its construction cost, estimated at $150 billion, encompasses the design, manufacturing, and assembly of its modules and components over several years.

2. The Al Maktoum International Airport – $82 Billion

Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Al Maktoum International Airport is part of the larger Dubai World Central project. Envisioned as the world’s largest airport upon completion, its construction cost has soared to approximately $82 billion. The airport aims to handle over 220 million passengers annually once fully operational.

3. South-to-North Water Transfer Project – $79 Billion

China’s ambitious South-to-North Water Transfer Project aims to address water scarcity issues by diverting water from the Yangtze River to northern regions. This vast undertaking involves the construction of canals, tunnels, and aqueducts spanning thousands of kilometers. With an estimated cost of $79 billion, it is one of the most expensive infrastructure projects in history.

4. Kashagan Oil Field Development – $77 Billion

Kashagan Fields

Situated in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Kazakhstan, the Kashagan Oil Field Development is one of the largest oil discoveries of the past few decades. However, extracting oil from this challenging environment comes with a hefty price tag. The project’s development costs have ballooned to around $77 billion, making it one of the most expensive oil ventures ever undertaken.

5. The Channel Tunnel – $18 Billion

The Channel Tunnel - $22.4 Billion

Connecting the United Kingdom with mainland Europe, the Channel Tunnel, also known as the “Chunnel,” is an engineering marvel. Stretching over 50 kilometers beneath the English Channel, this underwater tunnel required extensive planning and construction. With a total cost of approximately $18 billion, it stands as one of the most expensive infrastructure projects of the 20th century.

6. The Big Dig – $14.6 Billion

The Big Dig

The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, commonly referred to as the Big Dig, aimed to alleviate traffic congestion in Boston, Massachusetts, by rerouting Interstate 93 underground. This massive infrastructure project involved the construction of tunnels, bridges, and highways over a span of more than a decade. Despite its initial budget of $2.8 billion, the final cost skyrocketed to $14.6 billion due to delays and unforeseen challenges.

7. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge – $15.3 Billion

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge – Hong Kong

Spanning the Pearl River Delta in China, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is one of the world’s longest sea-crossing bridges. Connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai, this engineering marvel required the construction of tunnels, artificial islands, and a main bridge section spanning over 55 kilometers. Its total cost amounted to approximately $15.3 billion.

See also: 10 Most Amazing Bridges in The World

8. The Burj Khalifa – $1.5 Billion

Most Iconic Buildings Burj Khalifa

Standing as the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is a testament to human ambition and architectural prowess. Soaring to a height of 828 meters, its construction involved innovative engineering techniques and materials. While its final cost is estimated at $1.5 billion, the economic impact and prestige it brings to Dubai are immeasurable.

9. The ITER Project – $22 Billion

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion as a sustainable energy source. Located in Cadarache, France, ITER involves the collaboration of 35 countries. With an estimated cost of $22 billion, it represents one of the most significant scientific and engineering endeavors in human history.

10. The Three Gorges Dam – $37 Billion

As the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity, the Three Gorges Dam in China is a monumental feat of engineering. Spanning the Yangtze River, this hydroelectric dam provides clean energy to millions of people while mitigating flooding downstream. Its construction cost, estimated at $37 billion, underscores its status as one of the most expensive and impactful infrastructure projects ever undertaken.

These construction projects stand as testaments to human ambition, innovation, and perseverance. While they come with staggering price tags, their impact on society, the economy, and technological advancement is immeasurable. As we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, these monumental endeavors inspire awe and admiration for the power of human ingenuity.



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