Today’s episode is about the top 10 biggest and most expensive projects currently going on in the US. These are scheduled to finish in the near future, and when they do, they will change (literally) everything. From urban mobility to electricity to natural gas — and even sports.
Samsung – https://www.samsung.com
Amazon – https://amazon.com
California High-Speed Rail – https://hsr.ca.gov
Buffalo Bills – https://www.buffalobills.com
AECOM – https://aecom.com
Blue Castle Holdings Group – https://bluecastleproject.com
Michael Baker International – https://mbakerintl.com
Virgin Group – https://www.virgin.com
U.S. Air Force – https://www.airforce.com
Venture Global LNG – https://venturegloballng.com
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Transcript of Show
You can get our transcript of the show below!
Isaac Oakeson: Hey! What's up, everybody? Isaac here with Civil Engineering Academy. I'm excited to be with you today. We're gonna talk about the top 10 projects that are going on right now that you should be aware of in 2022. These are construction projects that have a varying amount of dollars thrown at them, but they are big projects found here in the United States. I wanted to put them on your radar because I find them interesting, and I think you'll find them interesting as well. So, today we're gonna talk about the top 10 projects being built right now in the United States. Not saying they're gonna be finished this year, but they definitely are going on. So we're gonna check those out. Top 10 construction projects in 2022. Stick with me, it's coming up right after this.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The first project that I can think of that is a massive project that is awesome is Samsung's new semiconductor factory that they are building near Austin, Texas. This thing is $17 billion. It's the most money Samsung has ever spent in the United States, and they have announced this huge factory to help out with semiconductor production. And that's happening here in the United States, in Texas, because everything's bigger in Texas. Why not? But this thing is massive.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. One of the nice things about the Samsung facility is they announced that facility as COVID was going around and the semiconductor chips were -- You know, supply chain issues. All of that fun stuff. So, this will be a real boost to the US as that plant comes online, but it is not scheduled to come online for quite some time. But it is being built. So, pretty cool project. Definitely go check that one out.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The second big project that I've got on my list is Amazon's HQ2. They announced -- I mean, they've got HQ1. And if you remember, they went around and they tried to go to a bunch of different states, a lot of states threw tax advantages at them, and they settled in Virginia. So Virginia is where HQ2 is going on. This thing is a awesome building. It kind of looks like a swirled [inaudible] if you check it out. And they're spending a lot of money there. $2.5 billion dollars on this project.
Isaac Oakeson: It started in 2020. It's on track to finish in 2023. Landscaping that's going on on the rooftops, but the thing does look like a little ice cream cone. So, I think the architecture is pretty cool. It's definitely a standout architecture that's going on there. But a lot of money's being thrown there, and it's a mixed use of space that's going on in that arena. It will have 2.1 million square feet for office space and 50,000 square feet for other space like retail space. So it's a huge project that's going on, it'll be awesome, and a lot of money spent there. Hey, if you're a civil engineer and you're working on that, let me know. It'll be fun to hear how that's going for you.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The next project that is a massive project is California's High Speed Rail System. They're actually building this thing. It's always been in the works for a very long time because high speed rail is just not found very -- I mean, I don't think we have any in the United States. It's all in other countries. And so they're bringing high speed rail here. California is gonna get it. And it is very expensive as well. It's $13.1 billion, and it will be the nation's very first high speed rail train in the United States. And by the way, all these projects are in the United States and, you know, it'll be fun to keep a tab on them.
Isaac Oakeson: According to California's high speed rail authority, this thing's gonna go from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours. These things go 200 miles per hour. They are awesome. So California will be the first one in the nation to grab one of these and it'll be a sweet project. So, let's definitely keep our eyes on that one as it's being built. I should also mention that this thing will be operational by December of 2033. So, keep your eyes on that one. It's gonna be a while, but once it's operational, that will be a sweet ride to check out.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Not to be out done, but Texas has their own bullet train coming. It's going from Dallas, Fort Worth, to Houston. This is a $20 billion project as well, and a very nice one to go right along with California. So, these things are coming to the United States and they'll be fun to watch. But $20 billion for this particular bullet train in Texas.
Isaac Oakeson: Now, they're stating for this project that the train will go 240 miles per hour and you'll be able to go from Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes. And they'll have those at peak hours running every 30 minutes, which is awesome. And off peak hours, they say they're gonna go every one hour. So again, another sweet project to definitely keep our eyes on and get some updates in the future.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The next project on my list that is something we wanna pay attention to this year is the NFL. They're always building new stadiums, but there's one being built for the NFL, the Buffalo Bills Stadium. They're still debating on whether they're gonna tear down the old one and build it there or put it in a new location. And I believe the contractor there is AECOM, who has suggested a new location because tearing down the old one is gonna be really expensive. But you know, anyway you look at it, it's gonna be expensive.
Isaac Oakeson: In fact, the current projections are that this is gonna be $1.4 billion. It'll be able to seat 60,000 people and the thing won't be built until 2027. But overall, new stadiums are always awesome. I love seeing new stadiums going up. In fact, I'm in Utah. I think my NFL team is the Raiders. They built a brand new stadium in Las Vegas. Definitely want to go check that one out because it looks like a sweet building. But that is another project. The Bill's NFL stadium is gonna be online, and that one's coming. So definitely let's watch that one as well.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The next project on my list is in Green River, Utah. I am actually in Utah, but this is a nuclear power plant built by the Blue Castle Holdings Group. They're investing a ton of money into a new nuclear power plant that they suggest, or are predicting, will only use or have to divert 1% of water to be used for this. So it seems pretty energy-efficient in terms of water usage, but it will end up supplying over or providing 50% of the energy usage for the state. So it sounds like a big, big project.
Isaac Oakeson: The owners are projecting that this project won't be done until 2030, so it's a ways away. But they are definitely working on it and have plans for building this thing. It's projected to have 2200 megawatts of energy being produced, which is awesome. And they were to start construction in 2022, so things should be moving forward on it. So, a very big project producing a ton of energy. Definitely another one we wanna watch.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The next one on my list is actually always been in political problems and the spotlight there, but that is actually the border wall. A lot of money is being pumped into still building that. I know the current administration has put a halt to that, but the state of Texas is still moving forward. It's projected that they've got $1 billion going into that, and it is a massive undertaking and a massive project.
Isaac Oakeson: So the US-Mexico border wall is still moving forward, and $1 billion to build that is a lot of money to build a wall. But that is still moving forward there. I know that Michael Baker is the construction group that has been selected for that, and so things are moving forward on building that. So, I know that's been in the political spotlight for quite some time, but Texas is marching forward with that border wall and it is a big undertaking and a big infrastructure project that we'll wanna keep our eyes on. So that's another one that has hit my list.
Isaac Oakeson: Okay. Next up on the list is actually the Hyperloop. So there's been a lot of hype around the Hyperloop, and Elon Musk has definitely popularized that, for sure. But there are a lot of other companies that have interest in doing this very same thing. You end up using vacuum-sealed tubes and you can transport passengers or goods or whatever in these tubes up to 700 miles per hour. So we thought bullet trains were quick, Hyperloop is gonna be amazing. At 700 miles per hour, you can go to a lot of places very quickly.
Isaac Oakeson: In fact, Josh Giegel, CEO and co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop, said in a press release that we're on the cusp of a new era that will change the way we think about mobility in this country. The Virgin Hyperloop Certification Center is being built in West Virginia. It's a 800-acre site, which was first announced in October of 2020, and it will, basically, include hyperloop testing facilities, training centers, and a certification track.
Isaac Oakeson: By 2025, Virgin Hyperloop hopes to have received all necessary safety certifications and ready to begin commercial operations by 2030. So Hyperloop is coming. They are being built all over the place in different locations. And like I said, Virgin is doing this, and Elon Musk has definitely popularized this. So it's coming. Hyperloop is coming. And I can't wait to ride a 700-mph train. That's quick.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Next on my list is the Sanborn Solar facility. It's in the Mojave in California. This thing is a huge solar facility that's being built with battery storage that I think has never been seen before. Massive project that's on the list. The project is projected to cost $1.15 billion and is on a mix of private land, including land owned by the Air Force base, which is close to it.
Isaac Oakeson: According to Power World, the facility will include a 1.118 megawatt solar complex with 2,165 megawatts of energy storage capacity, making it the largest single solar and storage project to reach this stage of development. In other words, this thing is huge. Over 2.5 million solar panels were ordered for this thing, and lithium-iron batteries over 110,000 for the battery storage on this bad boy.
Isaac Oakeson: It's expected to power more than 158,000 homes, and it's just a massive project. So we definitely want to keep an eye on this one as well. And I'm very interested in it because I am in the utility world, and I can tell you from experience that, you know, the solar panels companies, these renewables, are definitely exploding on the scene. We're getting more and more of them, online and on the grid. And this is the biggest one I've heard of. Sandborn. So let's keep an eye on it.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. The last project on my list is Venture Global Plaquemine, which is an export facility of natural gas. They are building a massive facility in Louisiana and something we should definitely keep our eyes on. The project's estimated to be worth $8.5 billion, and they'll be able to produce 20 million metric tons of natural gas. That is a lot. And this is a huge facility.
Isaac Oakeson: So if you're out there working on this, you're in the civil engineering world, let me know. It'd be fun to hear about it. But that is another one to put on our radar, and that will round us out for the 10 projects that are going on in the United States that I think are noteworthy that we should be aware of.
Isaac Oakeson: If there are others on this list you think are noteworthy, I would love to hear about them. Leave a note in the comments and let me know what you think is a noteworthy project out there that we can note in 2022. The year's not over. And if it needs a role in the 2023, let me know too. These projects can last many, many years, but these are the ones I felt make the list and that are fun and interesting. And I'm sure you have others. So let me know in the comments what you think.
Isaac Oakeson: Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. Check us out at civilengineeringacademy.com if you need help with your FE or PE exam. We'll help you on your journey to become a professional engineer. And definitely, you know, like, subscribe, and check out our podcast. So thanks for being here and we'll see you in the next one. Bye!
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