2020 11 29 3 00
Ice Hotel: Bigger, Better
In a world that’s getting warmer every year it’s hard to imagine a build more challenging than Sweden’s famed Ice Hotel. Yet Ake Larsson and his team have been at it for 20 years and this year they have no intention of giving in to the whims of uncertain weather. For the first time, in fact, they’re planning to build the biggest and most elaborate Ice Hotel ever. After recent setbacks with warm spells that have jeopardized the build, an even bigger Ice Hotel might seem crazy. But Ake’s got some engineering aces up his sleeve – artificial ice, prefabricated walls and a huge freezer to keep it all chilled.
2020 11 29 4 00
London Aquatics Centre & Orbit Tower
The countdown is on at London’s Olympic Park. With the games just one year away crews have started laying 850,000 four-inch square tiles across the deck of the massive Aquatics Centre. Diving boards are being cast and soon the pools will be filled to test pumps and drains. The steelworkers who built its roof are long gone. But as it turns out, this job site isn’t finished with steelworkers yet. Nearby an unusual spiraling steel sculpture called The Orbit is underway. Designed by world-renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor, it’s destined to be a jaw-dropping icon to rival Big Ben, the London Eye and the Gherkin. The 115meter high tower has been engineered by Arup and financed by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company. Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, the richest man in London, is providing 1400 tons of steel to build it.
2020 11 29 5 00
Sinking Wings and Sinking a Ship
This summer Howard Robins will be blasting a massive naval ship off the coast of BC with explosives to make it sink with a bang. It’s all part of a plan to make a new artificial reef for divers.
2020 11 30 6 00
Madrid’s Big Dig
The city of Madrid has hired a team of top-notch German engineers to design the only tunneling machine in the world big enough to bury its busy ring road deep underground. Now the Germans have to ship the monster 15.2-meter machine to Spain, put it all together and start tunneling. The schedule is a killer. Assemble the hundreds of thousands of parts to exacting standards in only seven weeks. There’s a major complication -- a huge culture clash between the super-efficient German chief mechanic and the Spanish construction workers he’s depending on to get finished in time. Plus, the whole German team is intimidated by the super-power of their untested mega-machine.
2020 11 30 7 00
Crossing the Colorado
A team of the toughest construction workers in the world has taken on the building of the biggest concrete arch bridge in North America -- right next to the famous Hoover Dam. The job description is death-defying: blast huge foundations out of sheer rock cliffs in the scorching desert heat, swing from cables in high winds, and work with risky new crane technology that’s never been tried before. Only the bravest need apply.
2020 11 30 8 00
An international team of the best construction engineers on the planet are building the world's tallest skyscraper in the United Arab Emirate city of Dubai. At close to three quarters of a kilometer high, the Burj Dubai's will push these engineer and construction workers wits to the limit as they face the fierce desert heat and wind, making history at stratospheric heights.
2020 12 06 3 00
A 'rescue tunnel' must be cut to free one of The World's Largest Machines stuck head first in The World's Longest Tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Swiss Alps, a key link in Europe's expanding high speed rail network. Tunnel Boring Machines are so big - this one is unstable sand, water and gravel that marooned Gabi 2 in the first place. It's a delicate job. One miscalculation and the fault zone could collapse in a landslide into the rescue tunnel setting the project back much longer than the five months Gabi 2 has already been trapped. the length of four soccer fields - you don't back them up! So Tunnel Manager Erich Kapeller must cut a 'rescue tunnel' to the front of Gabi 2 to free it. The problem is Kapeller's team must thread its rescue tunnel through the same fault zone of unstable sand, water and gravel that marooned Gabi 2 in the first place. It's a delicate job. One miscalculation and the fault zone could collapse in a landslide into the rescue tunnel setting the project back much longer than the five months Gabi 2 has already been trapped.
2020 12 06 4 00
Off the coast of Vancouver Island the airframe of a Boeing 737 will soon begin a new life underwater, as a gigantic artificial reef. The challenge: transport the grounded jet to the sink site, mount it on a custom-made cradle system, and lower it to the bottom of the sea - intact. Team leaders Howard Robins and Peter Luckham are in for the ride of their lives. Miscalculation at any point could send their mega-project crashing down into a twisted pile of metal.
2020 12 06 5 00
It’s so massive it’s come to be known as the Bangkok Mega-Bridge – and it hasn’t even been built yet. In Thailand, a crack team of engineers and builders have come together from around the world to raise Asia’s largest double-span bridge. And – if they can come in on schedule - they’ll set the record for the fastest build of a stay cable bridge of its size anywhere in the world.
2020 12 07 6 00
At Six Flags Magic Mountain just north of LA the worlds longest, fastest and tallest Flying Roller Coaster is under construction. Park Operations Manager Tim Burkhart has just 6 months to get the 17th coaster at his thrill park open for the busiest part of the season – Spring Break 2007.