Construction megaprojects to watch in 2023 and beyond
By Catrin Jones27 March 2023
Several of the world’s largest construction megaprojects are set to reach major milestones in 2023 and the near future. The projects range from the complete rebuild of a capital city to vital transportation links and everything in between.
Here are just some of the world’s megaprojects that International Construction will be watching closely year.
Where? Frankfurt, Germany
Cost US$1.4 billion
Frankfurt’s highest residential and office floors are being built with four high-rise buildings. The buildings are estimated to reach heights of up to 233m and will feature around 600 new apartments, plus a base construction with various shopping and dining facilities.
Based on a proposal submitted by architect UN Studio in Amsterdam, the project incorporates the heritage-listed façades on Junghofstraße, in addition to opening the site up to the city.
Construction management specialist IGP Ingenieur is working with the developer Groß & Partner to implement a tight construction schedule.
Formwork company Peri Group was involved early in the project to work with main contractor GP Con. The complex scheme has involved building all four concrete cores for the towers at once, making use of self-climbing systems to erect formwork floor by floor.
Engineering firm KBP has developed the mechanical services design. Würth was commissioned to equip the building services modules for all four towers at FOUR Frankfurt.
When the buildings are complete, squares, paths, and arcades will support an urban, mixed-use precinct that includes day-care facilities, apartments, and offices as well as hotels, retail, and dining establishments.
Where? Las Vegas, US
Cost US$2.1 billion
MSG Sphere at The Venetian is a sphere-shaped music and entertainment arena being built in Paradise, Nevada, near the Las Vegas Strip.
Built in partnership with Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the 366ft high and 516ft wide stadium will seat 17,500 people and is said to be the most technologically advanced stadium to date.
Reported to be the world’s largest spherical structure, the Sphere will have a massive steel-domed roof. It is built with a series of concrete and steel ring beams and has a 516ft ‘equator’ in its centre. It will contain the world’s highest-resolution LED screen that wraps up and around the audience inside the sphere. The exterior will be clad in another display.
Aecom started out as general contractor on the project but Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp opted to bring construction house at the end of 2020, without giving a reason for the change.
Aecom remains in a supporting role ahead of completion later this year.
The sphere is estimated to be open to the public in September 2023 with plans for similar infrastructure to be opened in London, UK in the future.
New Administrative Capital
Cost US$3 billion
The New Administrative Capital is a new urban community in Cairo Governorate, Egypt with plans to be Egypt’s new capital. The new capital city, estimated to be as big as Singapore, is said to help strengthen and diversify the country’s economic potential by creating new places to live, work and visit.
In the centre of the city stands, what will be, Africa’s tallest skyscraper. As estimated, it will overtake The Leonardo in South Africa by nearly 160m, reaching a total of 393m.
The Iconic tower is built with a central reinforced concrete core assembled alongside composite peripheral columns. It sits on a 5m-thick reinforced concrete raft and will be clad with a glass facade.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) is overseeing the project, which is being financed via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Construction is expected to be completed by 2023.
Fontainebleau Las Vegas
Where? Las Vegas, US
Cost US$3.7 billion
According to a press release last month, Fontainebleau Development and Koch Real Estate Investments announced they had secured a US$2.2 billion construction loan to complete the Fontainebleau Las Vegas luxury resort and casino.
As a result of the loan, construction of the 67-storey hotel, gaming, meeting, and entertainment complex is said to remain on track to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023. Construction on the site began in 2007 but progress was halted during the Great Recession as the site changed developers, with activity again stopping in 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The site stretches across 25 acres and 9 million square feet on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, directly adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Centre.
Cost US$4.2 billion
Toranomon-Azabudai District (or Azabudai Hills) is a complex of three skyscrapers currently under construction in Tokyo, Japan. Upon completion, the complex will feature the tallest building in both the city and Japan.
The Mori JP Tower, measuring 325m and featuring 64 floors, will be the first supertall to be built in Tokyo. The two accompanying buildings will measure 263m and 237m in height.
The skyscraper will include offices, residential units, commercial facilities, a hotel, cultural facilities, and an international school.
Shimizu Corporation is main contractor on the Mori JP Tower, while building envelope specialist Permasteelisa Group is working on the facades.
Shimizu Corporation has used ‘robo-welder’ welding robots on the project to weld planks of massive steel columns at the underground floors of the structure. It also used 14 welding robots for welding tasks on the above-ground floors, with the robots doing around 15% of the total welding on the project.
The contractor also employed five ‘Robo-Carrier’ conveyor robots on the project to automatically transport materials from elevators to where they were needed. Together, they transported an estimated 40,000 pallets of materials.
JFK Airport expansion projects
Where? New York City, US
Cost US$14.2 billion
John F. Kennedy International Airport is transforming to accommodate anticipated growth. The modernization of Terminal 8 began in 2019 and ended in 2022, but other elements are still under construction. It is expected that construction on Terminals 1, 4 and 6 will advance in the next year.
In September 2022, the ground was broken for the US$9.5 billion Terminal 1 project with the help of the design-build team AECOM Tishman and Gensler. Work includes building 23 new gates, retail and dining spaces as well as an indoor green space.
The current project is expected to be completed and open to passengers in 2026 with the entire project anticipated to be complete by 2030.
Cost US$15 billion
Tren Maya is an intercity railway line stretching 950 miles around the Yucatan Peninsula.
The project will be a conventional mixed-use line that will link the southeast region’s beach resorts with ancient Mayan sites. The train is designed to reach a top speed of 160 km/h for both passenger and tourism traffic.
The first part of the Tren Maya network will run from Palenque to the Yucatán capital of Mérida. This part of the network began construction in 2020 and is said to be open for service at the end of 2023.
Mota-Engil México and China Communications Construction Company will build the first stretch of the line. Operadora CICSA and FCC Construcción are lined up for stretch two (Escárcega-Calkiní), Construcciones Urales and GAMI Ingeniería e Instalaciones are slated to build stretch three (Calkiní-Izamal), and Grupo ICA will take on stretch four (Izamal–Cancún).