Worth around $100 billion, two major rail programs now taking off in France and the U.K. are expected to create a long-term bonanza of megacontracts for European construction firms. Civil engineering jobs worth hundreds of million of dollars are mobilizing or about to be signed on France's new Grand Paris Express metro and for the U.K.'s second high-speed line, between London and Birmingham.
In France, the special-purpose state company Société du Grand Paris (SGP) last month awarded two major tunneling contracts on the new orbital Line 15 South. SGP plans to spend more than $1 billion on the program this year, says Philippe Yvin, company chairman.
Because it can moderate the damaging effects of earthquakes, base-isolation is a technique used primarily in seismically active regions. ENR takes a look at some of the largest applications of base-isolation technologies in the world.