2021 01 31 3 00
Engineers had no choice. They had to build a "floating bridge" in Kelowna, British Columbia. Lake Okanagan was too deep and too muddy to sink columns to support a standard bridge. So the engineers designed a bridge of nine pontoons, each as long as a football field. Then they decided to make the floating pontoons out of concrete! But, with only a dozen or so floating bridges around the world, no one has any experience building a floating bridge. Engineers and work crews must learn from scratch how to build the 6000 tonne pontoons. Then marine crews must tow the concrete behemoths across the lake, and line up each pontoon to the next to tolerances of millimetres. It's a tense day when the pontoon that marine project manager Kevin Giberson and his second in command Kevin Hamakawa are towing is pushed dangerously close to submerged cables by trick lake currents. But after two and a half years of hard work through blistering Canadian summers and frigid winters, Kelowna and the world gets a new floating bridge.
2021 01 31 4 00
Glitz City (MGM)
In Las Vegas -- the quintessential city of razzle-dazzle and bling -- MGM is going for the ultimate one-upmanship. The Hollywood lion is building a 31-hectare mini-city with all amenities for those living there or visiting. It’ll cost a cool $9 billion -- the largest privately financed project in North America – ever. This is a story of a massive project being built in a very short time. It’s a logistical nightmare, says project manager Bill Smith. “One of my most important jobs is to manage harmony amongst the troops. It’s a pressure cooker, and not a lot of people want to be in that for a couple of years. So this ain’t for everybody.” It’s a good thing this town never sleeps because this construction site won’t either, with so much to do in so little time.
2021 01 31 5 00
Blockbuster Bridge (aka Incheon Bridge)
In South Korea engineers are fighting against the forces of the wild West Sea to build the Incheon Grand Bridge. It’s part of a visionary plan to link the biggest airport in the nation, with a new international investment zone called New Songdo City. The unique structure combines three methods of bridge construction to create a single highway 12.3 kilometres long. Construction Manager, Han, Kwangmo is responsible for delivering the tallest sections - the Cable Stayed Bridge and the Approach Bridge. Jeon, Youngjae is the Construction Manager overseeing the erection of the Viaduct - the longest section of the bridge. Their allies include planning mastermind Kim, Dong Wan, Deputy Project Director Alan Platt and a host of expert bridge builders. As they fight the elements to build up Incheon Grand Bridge, they prove the strength of human determination.
2021 02 01 6 00
It’s the ultimate engineering challenge: rescue the magnificent city of Venice, Italy, before it is drowned by the Adriatic Sea. A fantastic 5.5 billion dollar plan is taking shape. It’s called the “Mose project”, after the biblical saviour Moses. They’re constructing 78 massive floodgates, up to 29 metres tall, that will lie on the seabed. Whenever a dangerous high tide threatens the city the gates are supposed to rise from water and hold back the sea. The dynamic woman at the helm; Chief Engineer, Dr. Maria Theresa Brotto, declares, “Without the Mose, we will lose Venice.” But no one can predict when a colossal high tide will swamp the city and it’s a race against time for the workers of the Mose project.
2021 02 01 7 00
Big Rib (aka Aker)
The Aker H6e is the biggest oil rig on the planet – built for the extreme conditions of the Barents Sea. Marine operations chief Knut Engebretsen and his team have tight deadlines for some major moves to put this monster together. They have to “skid” eight-thousand-ton hull pieces on rails across a giant yard. The steel deck that goes on top of the hull weighs more than 11,000 tonnes. Raising it up in the air 10 storeys will be one of the most extreme heavy lifts ever attempted. On top of these mega-challenges, this hardy crew of Norwegian engineers has to battle bad weather all the way.
2021 02 01 8 00
Digging in Istanbul, Turkey can be an adventure! Three empires, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, are buried one atop the other. So, in a city with 2600 years of history, engineers knew there would be delays in completing the $3.5 billion Marmaray Project, but no one dreamed this rapid transit system aimed at easing Istanbul’s chronic gridlock would be delayed for years!
2021 02 07 3 00
The Sheikh Zayed Bridge will be the ultimate signature entrance to the world's richest city: Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. For its builders like structural engineer Mark Jones, manager of arch construction for Archirodon, the giant Middle East contractor, the bridge is a king size headache!
2021 02 07 4 00
Deep in Canada’s remote western coastal mountains, a new hydroelectric project called a Run of River is under construction. Glacial rivers running high in the mountain will be funneled down huge steel pipelines at a very sharp and exacting drop. Below the water will roar into a powerhouse to spin massive turbines and create electricity. From here power will travel out to the coast along a new transmission line cut through the bush.
2021 02 07 5 00
World Class Stadium
Cape Town is building a brand-new stadium for the next FIFA World Cup Games, but it’s the last World Cup project to get started. Australian Project manager Andy Fanton is struggling to keep it on schedule and make up for lost time.
2021 02 08 6 00
Spanning the Saigon River
In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, engineers are raising a modern cable stayed bridge and spanning the Saigon River. Their goal: To save the city from horrendous traffic jams that impedes economic growth. Vietnam’s highway system no longer meets the needs and aspirations of this rising Southeast Asian nation. The outdated main route from southern Vietnam to Hanoi in the north cuts through the old downtown core of Ho Chi Minh City. The new bridge is the cornerstone in a plan to drive traffic away from the city’s streets, and speed up the travel time between north and south. The country’s economic future is at stake