9 Famous engineering mistakes

9 Famous engineering mistakes

Engineers are often prone to making mistakes. That is why we constantly have to check and double-check everything that we do. It is this type of keen focus on what we do that allowed generations of past engineers to create some of the most remarkable engineering projects. However, details are sometimes overlooked, numbers misrepresented or even units misread. While some of these mistakes are miniscule and can be corrected, history has witnessed some colossal oversights that led to huge disasters and in some cases, popular travel destinations.

Project Spotlight: Hangzhou Bay Bridge
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Project Spotlight: Hangzhou Bay Bridge

The longest ocean-crossing bridge in the world, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge is an S-shaped stayed-cable bridge with six lanes in both directions that shortens the distance between Shanghai and Ningbo by 120 kilometers. The 36 kilometer long bridge required a great number of new techniques, new materials, new equipment and new theories due to the large scale and design of the project. It took close to 600 experts and a total of nine years to design the bridge. The Hangzhou Bay Bridge is expected to boost the economic development of the Yangtze River Delta, also called the Golden Industrial Triangle. Work on the bridge began in June 2003 and was completed in June 2007. The bridge was opened to the public in May 2008 and carried about 50,000 vehicles per day in its first year of operation. The total project cost was approximately $1.5 billion.

Project Spotlight: Taipei 101
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Project Spotlight: Taipei 101

Towering majestically on Taiwan’s skyline, the Taipei 101 was the first world’s tallest building completed in the 21st century and remains the first building in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. It was surpassed by Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010 though it remains a significant structure globally. Completed in 2004, the building stands at 508-meters and has 101 floors. A prominent icon in Taiwan, fireworks launched from the tower on New Year’s Eve has become an international broadcast and it is featured frequently in international media.