From the Hoover Dam in Nevada to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the United States is home to some of the most ambitious megaprojects in history. Today, the country continues to push the boundaries with new, billion-dollar construction projects spanning multiple industries, including infrastructure, renewable energy, science attractions and more.
But when the pandemic sparked supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and economic uncertainty, these mega construction projects were put on temporary hold, causing serious delays and cost overruns. Fortunately, as the world rebounds from the height of the pandemic, we’re seeing many of these projects get back on track.
For instance, in the last edition of this series, we spoke about the California High-Speed Rail program, which aims to connect San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento through a high-speed railway. Of course, a massive infrastructure project like that will take years before completion, so while we wait to see the results, let’s look at some new megaprojects to watch in 2023 and beyond.
7 Megaprojects Underway in the U.S.A.
Here are the top seven megaprojects currently under construction in the United States:
1. Southeast Connector (Dallas-Fort Worth Area)
The Southeast Connector Project is a 16-mile-long infrastructure project with an estimated total cost of $1.6 billion, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (DoT).
With construction already in progress, the project aims to accomplish several objectives:
- Widen I-20 to 10 traffic lanes, from I-820 to U.S. Route 287.
- Widen I-820 to eight traffic lanes, from I-20 to Rosendale Street.
- Rebuild the interchanges between the freeways and U.S. Route 287.
Texas DoT hopes the Southeast Connector will improve travel safety and efficiency, ease traffic congestion and promote trade around the Fort Worth area. While it is the project with the lowest construction cost on our list, it still represents the largest transportation infrastructure investment in the history of the state’s Fort Worth district.
2. Madison Square Garden Sphere (Las Vegas, NV)
The Madison Square Garden (MSG) Sphere in Las Vegas is an enormous, sphere-shaped stadium currently under construction at The Venetian Resort. Since breaking ground, the total cost has ballooned by 9% due to inflation, reaching an estimated $2.18 billion. Despite the cost overruns, the project is still on track to finish construction in the second half of 2023.
With the capacity to hold 20,000 visitors plus 23 VIP suites, the sphere will have obvious economic benefits for the State’s tourist economy. As part of the project, MSG Entertainment plans to install wrap-around LED displays on the sphere’s interior and exterior for high-resolution images visible from miles away. Inside, a spatial sound system and immersive 4D functionality aim to transport visitors into the on-screen environment for a unique experience that attracts crowds from around the world.
3. Gordie Howe International Bridge (Detroit, MI)
At over half a mile (853 meters) long, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America when it’s complete. Connecting Detroit, Michigan, to Windsor, Ontario, Canada, this massive infrastructure project has an expected construction cost of $4.5 billion. The goal is to reduce congestion on the nearby Ambassador Bridge — especially for commercial trucks.
With six lanes for traffic and a 12-foot wide walkway for pedestrians, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will facilitate greater cross-border travel to accommodate the expected increase in traffic over the next few years. On either side of the U.S.-Canadian border, both countries plan on building some of the largest border facilities in North America to help streamline international travel.
4. American Legion Bridge Replacement (Bethesda, MD)
The New American Legion Bridge I-270 Traffic Relief Plan aims to tackle one of the nation’s biggest bottlenecks between Maryland and Virginia. In addition to constructing a new American Legion Bridge, the infrastructure project will also include 37 miles of highway improvements along I-270 (from I-380 to I-70).
The relief plan is split into two phases:
- Phase 1 (South): The first stage of the project will cover replacing the American Legion Bridge, along with two new High Occupancy Toll managed lanes to I-495 and one to I-270.
- Phase 2 (North): This second phase is in the early stage of developing a transportation study to inform plans for future improvements.
While the estimated construction cost is $6 billion, the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University predicts these improvements will generate around $12.6 billion in economic activity.
5. Related Santa Clara (Santa Clara, CA)
Related Santa Clara is a new mixed-use development currently underway, covering 240 acres with a variety of commercial, residential and retail properties. As a public-private partnership between the City of Santa Clara and Related Companies, this project aims to transform the current space from a golf course into an innovative, entertaining destination for locals and visitors alike.
At an estimated $8 billion, Related Santa Clara will be the largest mixed-use private project in Silicon Valley. With plans to incorporate expansive public spaces and transit upgrades with the city’s existing transportation network, the development will facilitate easy travel for residents, employees and tourists, putting more money into the local economy.
6. Hudson Tunnel Project (New York City, NY)
The Hudson Tunnel Project is part of the long-awaited Gateway Program — a network of construction projects with the shared goal of repairing and replacing the century-old railway tunnels that run under the Hudson River. While there were plans to repair the tunnel and add capacity since 2009, there was little action until 2012, when Hurricane Sandy caused significant flooding. As a result of the damage, workers are unable to make repairs until they build new tunnels.
While the U.S. DoT recently invested $292 million in the infrastructure project, it’s only a fraction of the $16 billion expected construction costs. However, the Gateway Program estimates the new and repaired tunnels will generate $19 billion in economic activity throughout construction while providing long-term resiliency against extreme climate events.
7. JFK Airport Expansion (New York City, NY)
The JFK Airport in New York City is undergoing a complete overhaul with a total cost of $18 billion, including 23 new gates for several terminal projects. Terminal 8 completed its modernization in 2022, while Terminals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 are expected to advance soon and complete construction by around 2030.
Last year, the $9.5 billion Terminal 1 project broke ground, and the airport has just recently celebrated the start of the third and final phase. Meanwhile, construction is set to begin on the $4.2 billion Terminal 6 project — a 1.2 million square foot area with 10 new gates. Together, these terminal transformations will help JFK Airport accommodate more airplanes and passengers while facilitating faster, more efficient travel.
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Unlock the Full Potential of Your Mega Project
While this list of megaprojects covered some notable examples from around the U.S., it’s far from comprehensive. If your organization is planning a megaproject, Contruent is here to help.
Contruent is the premier provider of capital project management solutions, enabling organizations to maximize efficiency, expand visibility, optimize spend and performance, and much more. We work across nearly every industry, from oil and gas, energy and mining to rail, infrastructure and construction. As an out-of-the-box software, Contruent Enterprise comes project-ready, so you can achieve better results even faster.
Want to see how Contruent can help you deliver projects on-time and on-budget? Request a demo today.