10. Resorts World Sentosa – $5 billion
The first of two Singapore-based entries, this Genting Singapore-developed resort includes a casino, universal studios theme park and marine life park. Gates opened in 2012. The resort covers over 49 hectares of land, and employs upwards of 10,000 people.
9. Emirates Palace $6 billion
So luxurious that it has achieved a seven-star rating, this hotel, designed by architect John Elliott, features gold and marble-furnishings two swimming pools, spas, its own marina and even a helipad. The hotel was built by and is owned by the Abu Dhabi government, and opened in November 2005. The Emirates Palace is the second most expensive hotel construction, surpassed narrowly by the next entry.
8. Marina Bay Sands Resort – +$6 billion
Opened in 2011, this Singapore resort features a 2,561-room hotel, a 1,300,000 sq ft convention-exhibition centre, an 800,000 sq ft mall, a museum, two large theatres, seven restaurants run by top chefs, two floating Crystal Pavilions, an ice skating rink, and the world's largest atrium casino.
7. Oakland Bay Bridge – $6.2 billion
After more than a decade of delays, the redesigned eastern span of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge reopened to traffic in September 2013, arriving billions of dollars over budget despite the outsourcing of elements to China. The upgrade replaces a section damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
6. Trans-Alaska Pipeline System – $8 billion (1977)
Between 1974 and ’77, construction workers braved extreme weather conditions to build more than 800 miles of pipeline, 12 pump stations and the Valdez Marine Terminal. In the present, a decline in oil production has threatened the pipeline, and as volumes decrease, some of the pump stations will be closed.
5. James Bay Project – +$20 billion
Named for the body of water into which La Grande River drains, this costly construction of a series of hydroelectric power stations in Québec, Canada, by state-owned utility Hydro-Québec involved the diversion of neighbouring rivers into the La Grande watershed. The stations have an installed generating capacity of 16,527 megawatts.
4. International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor – +$21 billion
The ITER is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, currently constructing the world's largest experimental tokamaknuclear fusion reactor at the Cadarache facility in the south of France. The project is funded by several members, the largest 45 percent contribution coming from the EU, followed by 9 percent from China, Russia, South Korea and the US. The first plasma is expected to be produced in 2020.
3. Central Artery/Tunnel Project – $22 billion
Nicknamed the Big Dig, this Boston megaproject between 1991 and 2006 rerouted the Central Artery (Interstate 93), the primary highway through the city-centre, into a 3.5-mile tunnel. The project also included the construction of the Ted Williams Tunnel (extending Interstate 90 to Logan International Airport), the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the space vacated by the previous I-93 elevated roadway.
2. Three Gorges Dam – $25 billion
This hydroelectric project in Hubei Province, China, spans the Yangtze River and is the largest power station in the world by installed capacity, which reaches 22,500 megawatts. The body of the dam was completed in 2006, while the 32 main turbines were finished in 2012.
1. Itaipu Dam – $27 billion
It would appear that hydroelectric power is an expensive game. Work began on this example, on the Brazil-Paraguay border, in February 1971, and was completed in 1984.
The dam surpasses the previous entry as the largest operating hydroelectric facility in terms of annual energy generation, at 94.7 TWh in 2008 and 91.6 TWh in 2009, however is second to Three Gorges at a 14,000 MW installed capacity compared to the Chinese example’s 22,500 MW.
Construction was a major undertaking; the course of the Paraná, the world’s seventh longest river was shifted, along with 50 million tons of earth and rock. The amount of iron and steel used is more than 308 times that in the Eiffel Tower, and more than 40,000 people were employed in the process.
In 2007, the last of the 20 electric generation units commenced operations, raising the installed capacity to 14 GW and completing the power plant.