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Solar roads, space diggers and Brexit: the hottest stories of 2016

22 December 2016 | By Rod Sweet | 0 Comments

In a turbulent year, readers were drawn most to news of paradigm-shifting innovations. Here is a selection of the most viewed stories in 2016.

1. France to pave 1,000km of road with solar panels

The most controversial story of the year. Some readers applauded, while many others said this will never work. The comments themselves are as interesting as the story.

2. Kajima to develop extraterrestrial construction machinery

Following on from an earlier story about space elevators, Japan continues to think extra-terrestrially.

3. Solar paving to make first public US appearance on Route 66

The idea may not work, but it is proving difficult to suppress…

4. Mexican scientist creates glow-in-the-dark cement

“Claiming the engineered cement can last a hundred years, he says it could make roads and structures glow in the dark, cutting the cost of street-lighting…”

5. Chinese infrastructure group offers $1bn for Liverpool FC

Still up in the air. Liverpool’s principal owner John W. Henry this month appeared to deny the rumour.

6. $2.7bn Dubai Metro scheme comes down to two-horse race

Two consortiums comprising five different nations were shortlisted to build the metro line that will prepare Dubai’s transport system for the 2020 Expo. The winner was the Alstom one.

7. Why China can build high-speed rail so cheaply

Cheap labour, a strong central authority, and standardised technical approaches help a lot.

8. How UK’s top 3 mega projects may be Brexit “collateral damage”

The expansion of Heathrow, a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, and the HS2 high-speed railway network were all questioned in the tumultuous days after the vote for Brexit on 23 June.

9. Will China still fund Sierra Leone’s fancy new international airport?

The global plunge in commodity prices raised questions over China’s commitment to big infrastructure schemes in Africa. 2016 was said to be the year work would start on this controversial project. It wasn’t.

10. Egypt’s Grand Museum on track for partial opening in 2017

A fascinating project, and a fascinating interview with a man who has been leading it through revolution, a coup, and economic crisis.

GCR extends warm greetings to all readers over the holiday season, and wishes everybody a very Happy New Year. We’re back on 4 January 2017.

Top image via Dreamstime/Kotenko