The BEST Episodes of Extreme Engineering

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2021


Each episode of Extreme Engineering discussed some major construction project, some of them are projects that have already been completed like Hong Kong's airport. Others talked abount projects that are currently under construction like Tuneling Under the Alps. And some episodes talked about more futuristic projects that may never be done like the Transatlantic Tunnel. Most episodes finished by examining some sort of disaster scenario which could threaten or ruin the project that was being examined.

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Building Mumbai's Modern Airport

#1 - Building Mumbai's Modern Airport

Season 9 - Episode 7 - Aired Jul 2, 2011

The $2 billion Mumbai Airport Expansion project is one of India's most ambitious undertakings ever. If they succeed, it could completely change the way airports are designed.

star 10.00
28 votes

#2 - Excavators

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 22, 2004

In northern Minnesota, the operators of the world's largest open-pit iron mine commission the construction of a $10 million custom-built super-shovel in the hopes of making excavation more efficient.

star 9.00
2 votes
Singapore Sky Park

#3 - Singapore Sky Park

Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 8, 2010

Singapore's Skypark will hang 650 feet in the air on top of 3 skyscrapers.

star 8.50
2 votes
Venice Flood Gates

#4 - Venice Flood Gates

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 14, 2004

Venice floodgates Fact file When built: Started 2003, completion due 2010 Height: 30m Weight: 300 tons each Timescale: Seven years Construction material: Steel Number of barriers: 79 Capacity: Stop tides of up to 2m In 1900, St. Mark's Square in Venice flooded about 10 times a year. Now water covers it 100 times a year. Global warming is causing sea levels around the world to rise and environmental experts believe Venice may well go the same way as Atlantis. In September 2003, work began to prevent the city’s 45km of canals from cannibalising its ancient architecture. Phase one saw dredging machines begin to remove 3.8 million cubic metres of clay from the lagoon bed at the mouth of its three inlets. This is being replaced with 9m tons of rock and concrete to provide a sturdy foundation to fix the 79 steel floodgates. Each is bigger than a football field and weighs over 300 tons. When not in use, the gates will lie flat against the lagoon floor. At the threat of a high tide, hydraulic valves can be opened at the flick of a switch allowing the gates to pivot into position. At a cost of $3 billion, the project isn’t exactly cheap. But then, it’s less than the estimated losses during Venice’s worst ever flood in 1966.

star 8.25
4 votes
Widening the Panama Canal

#5 - Widening the Panama Canal

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 4, 2003

A documentary looking at plans to update the Panama Canal. This magnificent waterway cuts through 50 miles of tropical jungle, allowing ships to travel easily from the Atlantic to the Pacific. However, time has passed this engineering marvel by - many modern supercargo ships are three times the size the canal can safely accommodate, so plans are in motion to widen the structure. The project faces all manner of environmental challenges, as well as leaving the canal closed to…

star 8.13
8 votes
The Snohvit Arctic Gas Processing Platform

#6 - The Snohvit Arctic Gas Processing Platform

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 19, 2005

Europe's first liquefied natural gas plant sits on a floating platform. The platform was transported by ship from southern Spain to the coast of Norway.

star 8.00
3 votes
Big Easy Rebuild

#7 - Big Easy Rebuild

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Jul 5, 2006

This episode takes a look at the emergency repairs implemented in order to help the city of New Orleans recover from the disastrous flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005. Katrina was one of the costliest and deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history and New Orleans bore the brunt of its fierce attack.

star 8.00
1 votes
South Ferry Subway Station

#8 - South Ferry Subway Station

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 11, 2006

The South Ferry Terminal subway station is the first new subway station in New York City since the early 1900s.

star 8.00
1 votes
Stonecutters Bridge: Hong Kong

#9 - Stonecutters Bridge: Hong Kong

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 1, 2006

Suspended above one of the world's busiest waterways, the Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong will set a new record for the longest cable-stayed span, over a kilometer in length.

star 8.00
1 votes
High Risk Tower

#10 - High Risk Tower

Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Sep 18, 2007

Building a Trump's Tower in Chicago

star 8.00
1 votes
Dallas Cowboys Stadium

#11 - Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 20, 2009

Building the new Cowboys Stadium

star 8.00
1 votes
CityCenter, Las Vegas

#12 - CityCenter, Las Vegas

Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 21, 2009

The CityCenter development in Las Vegas aspires to change the desert vacationland into a continental metropolis

star 8.00
1 votes
Navy Amphibious Warship

#13 - Navy Amphibious Warship

Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired May 4, 2009

The LPD17 is a new class of warship.

star 8.00
1 votes
New Orleans Surge Barrier

#14 - New Orleans Surge Barrier

Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired May 9, 2010

In an attempt to save the city from another disaster, New Orleans is building the world's strongest hurricane protection system, including the largest storm surge barrier ever built and radical hurricane resistant homes.

star 8.00
29 votes
South Africa's Mponeng Gold Mine

#15 - South Africa's Mponeng Gold Mine

Season 8 - Episode 5 - Aired May 13, 2010

Travel to the deepest place on Earth, Johannesburg, South Africa's Mponeng Gold Mine.

star 8.00
2 votes
Rebuilding New York City's Subway

#16 - Rebuilding New York City's Subway

Season 9 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 8, 2011

Danny takes us to New York City, where the largest public works project in the country is happening: a $15 billion expansion of the NYC transit system. He heads 150 feet underground to find out what can be done without shutting down the city above.

star 8.00
1 votes
Subways in America

#17 - Subways in America

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 15, 2003

This episode explores the current New York City subway and the plans for renovation. Also the World Trade Center Station post 9/11 and its hasty repair.

star 7.94
49 votes
Directors: Courtney Hayes
Writers: Ed Fields, Alan Lindgren
Hong Kong's Cable Car

#18 - Hong Kong's Cable Car

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 2, 2005

Engineers are building the Ngong Ping 360, the world's longest detachable cable car system, on Hong Kong's mountainous Lantau Island, spanning the South China Sea.

star 7.78
9 votes
Dubai's Ski Resort

#19 - Dubai's Ski Resort

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 21, 2006

How do you make your mall stand out? By building one of the world's largest indoor ski resorts--in the deserts of Dubai! Ski Dubai features snow-making machines and slopes ranging in difficulty from easy to "black diamond."

star 7.75
4 votes
The El Cajon Dam

#20 - The El Cajon Dam

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 10, 2005

The dam, which is the largest ongoing construction project in Latin America, is designed to rise 186 meters above the Rio Grande de Santiago river in Mexico. Upon completion, it will provide for two percent of the entire country's electricity needs.

star 7.67
3 votes
Tokyo's Sky City

#21 - Tokyo's Sky City

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 13, 2003

It examines the concept of constructing a giant tower in Japan that wouldn't be a just a building, but a public city in the sky. At the end it talks about what a fire in the building would be like and how the fire department would handle it.

star 7.62
108 votes
Cooper River Bridge

#22 - Cooper River Bridge

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 5, 2004

Connecting the bustling port city of Charleston and Mount Pleasant in South Carolina, the Cooper River Bridge will be the longest cable-stay bridge in America. Spanning 490 metres across a busy shipping lane, the bridge has to be built of sturdy stuff. But the biggest threat to its survival is nature. Not only is the structure standing on one of the most seismic spots on the East Coast, it also faces the frequent threat of 300kmph hurricanes. The engineers faced a very tall order – especially with a relatively low budget of $531million. The mainline structure will accommodate eight 4m-wide lanes of traffic, separated by a central barrier. The road deck itself is suspended 54m above sea level by 128 individual cables, strung in parallel from the diamond-shaped support towers. Cable-stayed bridges consist of one or more pillars located in the middle of the span, with cables supporting the roadbed. In this case, each cable is capable of holding 500 tons. To protect the cables from changing weather conditions and moisture they’re enclosed in high-density polymer pipes. Rock barrier islands have been built up around the support towers to prevent ships from careering into the bridge. Plastic hinge zones are being built into towers to allow flexibility during an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. In addition, a damping system has been developed to ensure the structure can withstand hurricane-force wind. The Cooper River Bridge is designed to remain in operation for the next 100 years.

star 7.60
5 votes
Holland's Barriers to the Sea

#23 - Holland's Barriers to the Sea

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired May 21, 2003

Dutch engineers must overcome rising waters in the North Sea to protect their land.

star 7.57
7 votes
Container Ships

#24 - Container Ships

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 28, 2004

Covers the docking of a container ship at Long Beach (California) and the operation of the water front docks, where several thousand containers need to be unloaded and loaded in 48 hours. Also covered is the building of the Adrian Maersk, the world's largest container ship. While the scale of these gigantic ships has to be seen to be believed, the construction must be precise to millimeters.

star 7.50
4 votes
Gotthard Tunnel

#25 - Gotthard Tunnel

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 1, 2006

The Gotthard Base Tunnel underneath the Swiss Alps will be the world's longest rail tunnel upon completion in 2015.

star 7.50
4 votes