Transportation nation: Top 5 infrastructure projects in the U.S.

By Riley SimpsonApril 28, 2021

The California High-Speed Rail is projected for completion by the end of the decade

Since the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, the first megaproject in U.S. history, crews around the nation have always eyed making the country’s infrastructure better and more efficient.

Let’s take stock of five of the biggest transportation construction tasks currently underway in the U.S. Check out the list of honorable mentions at the end.

1. California High-Speed Rail

Construction of the nation’s first high-speed railway, which will connect California’s largest metropolises once completed, started in 2018 and is projected to finish by the end of the decade, according to the 2020 business plan.

Once completed, the 100% electric trains will transport millions across the state at speeds that could top 220 mph.

Currently, the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors is focused on delivering a 171-mile Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield interim electrified service line in California’s Central Valley, which averages 1,100 construction workers a day at 35 construction sites.

2. Red and Purple Line Modernization

The Chicago Transit Authority is renovating the north-south 9.6-mile stretch from the city’s South Side, through the Loop in downtown and up to suburban Evanston.

Originally built in the 1920s, the Red (Chicago’s busiest ‘L’ line) and Purple lines were secured funding for modernization in 2017, and construction is expected to last until 2024-25.

The Metropolitan Transporation Authority has finished Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway project in New York City

3. Second Avenue Subway

New York City’s famous underground train system is getting its biggest upgrade in 50 years. Crews completed Phase 1 and opened to 200,000 daily riders on the Upper East Side in 2017.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Phase 2 of construction will extend train service from the 96th Street station on the Upper East Side to East Harlem, and crews will build two new stations to service approximately 100,000 daily riders.

4. Sound Transit

One of the more ambitious urban transit construction projects in the U.S., the Seattle-Tacoma metro area’s Sound Transit project is currently building 40 miles of new light rail track and 28 new stations (three of which are projected to open in fall 2021).

The project is combining trains, buses and light rails to connect millions of Washington residents along the Puget Sound.

5. Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop and the Vegas Loop

The Boring Company, founded by Tesla’s Elon Musk, is associated with two tunnel projects in Las Vegas.

The first is the LVCC Loop, a 1.7-mile transportation system with three stations in the city’s convention center. Crews completed the tunnels after a year using the Godot Tunnel Boring Machine, and the transportation system turned a 45-minute walk across the campus into a two-minute ride. 

Currently under construction is the proposed Vegas Loop, which will connect McCarran International Airport, the Las Vegas Strip, Allegiant Stadium, downtown Las Vegas and eventually Los Angeles.

Honorable mentions: Minnesota’s Green Line Light Rail Transit Extension, Florida’s Virgin Trains project and Massachusetts’ South Coast Rail project

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