Samsung Wafer Plant, Austin

Another building from Austin, Texas that needs to be talked about is the new Samsung Wafer Plant, not only is it larger then 9 football fields, it is also that Samsung committed over $3.5 billion for the project, making it the largest single foreign investment in Texas and one of the largest in the United States. 

Samsung Wafer Plant in Austin Samsung Wafer Plant, Austin

This new plant manufactures NAND flash memory chips, which are widely used in a host of consumer- related products, such as MP3 players, cell phones, digital cameras, and other mobile devices.  This is the largest semiconductor fab in Austin, Texas.

Samsung Wafer Plant in Austin2 Samsung Wafer Plant, Austin

The old Samsung Wafer Plant will still produce Dram, is about half the size and with the two plants combined they will pay out to employees of Austin Texas Approximately $100 million a year which is $estimated $40 million more then before the new plant opened.  This was done on a down turn in the Economy around the United States , Yet in Austin seems like The economy is as good or better then ever.

Samsung Wafer Plant in Austin3 Samsung Wafer Plant, Austin

Here you can see the new Austin , Texas  Samsung Wafer Plant under construction here you see steel rebar and concrete.

Moonlight Towers

Moonlight Towers are unlike street lights that we see today on almost every street corner,  back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s they were common in smaller cities these electric light towers designed to cover a circle of 3,000 feet .  The light towers provided lighting for a 4 square block area.  Between 1894-95 there were 31 on of these towers installed in and around downtown Austin, of which 17 of the original towers remain and are functional.  The Moonlight Towers are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and were designated as State Archaeological Landmarks.

Moonlight tower Moonlight Towers

Moonlight towers are lighting structures designed to illuminate large areas of a city at night.

Moonlight tower at night Moonlight Towers


The structures were popular in the late nineteenth century among smaller cities across the United States and Europe, when standard street-lighting systems — using smaller, shorter, and more numerous lamps — were impractically expensive. The towers were designed to illuminate more city area at once via electric lighting. Arc lamps were the most common method of illumination, though they were known for their exceptionally bright and harsh light.

Moonlight towers2 Moonlight Towers

As regular street lighting grew more popular, the prevalence of moonlight tower systems began to wane.

plaque on inside of a Moonlight tower Moonlight Towers

Moonlight towers in Austin, Texas

Moonlight tower at night2 Moonlight Towers

Austin, Texas is the only city in the world, known to still operate a system. The towers are 165 feet tall and have a fifteen foot foundation. This type of tower was manufactured in Indiana by Fort Wayne Electric Company and assembled onsite.  In 1894, the City of Austin purchased 31 used lighting towers from Detroit. A single tower cast light from six carbon arc lamps, illuminating a 3000 foot (920 meters) radius circle brightly enough to read a watch.

Moonlight tower downtown Moonlight Towers

When first installed, the towers were connected to their own electric generators at the Austin dam (near present day Tom Miller Dam). Over the years they were switched from their original carbon-arc lamps (which were exceedingly bright and time consuming to maintain) to incandescent lamps in the 1920’s, and mercury vapor lamps in the 1930’s. Mercury vapor lighting allowed the installation of a switch at each tower’s base. During World War II, a central switch was installed, allowing citywide blackouts in case of air raids.

under Moonlight tower Moonlight Towers

In 1993 the city of Austin dismantled the towers and restored every bolt, turnbuckle and guy wire as part of a $1.3 million project, the completion of which was celebrated in 1995 with a city-wide festival.

Moonlight tower christmas location Moonlight Towers

Moonlight tower hand elevator Moonlight Towers

Each tower weighs in at 2 tons. Most of the structure consists of a triangular metal lattice, commonly used for radio antenna supports today. The lattice sits on top of a single 15-foot pole and so must be secured by guy wires attached to each of the three corners of the lattice and strung outward away from the structure.

Moonlight tower from a distance Moonlight Towers


above is the Moonlight Tower in Zilker Park the lights are connected to the wooden post seen in the back.

Since 1965 the Moonlight Tower in Zilker Park has served as Austin’s Christmas Tree. The normal guy wires are supplemented by additional strands that contain over 3,300 lights that form a conical “tree” for the entire city. A favorite pastime of young and old alike is to spin under the tree while looking up at the lights, then trying to stand upright and fight off the resulting dizzying sensation.

Frost Bank Tower

As of this post The Frost Bank Tower is the second tallest building in Austin, Texas at exactly 515 feet, 9 inches tall.  This building was completed in 2004 and began construction in 2001.  It was developed by Cousins Properties Incorporated from November 2001 to December 2003. 

Frost Bank Austin Frost Bank Tower

This building contains over 525,000 sq. ft of leasable space.   The tower is finished in an energy efficient blue glass. This type of glass is only known to have been used on one other building, the Reuters Building at 3 Times Square in New York City. 

Frost Bank Tower Frost Bank Tower

The signature 33-story Trophy tower features 560,674 square feet of premier office space in the heart of the Central Business District on the corner of Congress Avenue and Fourth Street, just blocks from the State Capitol.  Most people in Austin call this the nose clipper building. It’s the tallest building here right now but not for long.  The lower floors of the structure are finished in limestone.

Frost Bank Tower2 Frost Bank Tower

Interesting Facts:

The crown of the tower contains more than an acre of glass.

Per tradition, tin crosses were embedded in the concrete on every floor.  The last cross was added at 9 pm on May 27, 2003 to the penthouse. The idea came from a story about an immigrant who worked on construction during the 1940s in New York City.

Cousins Properties contends that at the time of its groundbreaking, “this was the tallest building in America to have started construction after the September 11th attacks”. 

Frost Bank Tower3 Frost Bank Tower

The height of the tower crane used during construction was 600 feet tall. This broke a record as the tallest ever used in Austin at that time.

Over 200,000 square feet of glass was used in the facade of the tower; 45,000 square feet of glass was used in the crown, about one acre’s worth (materials in the crown alone cost $1.5 million).

Four Frost Bank logo signs were added above the main roof. The logos are 20 feet in diameter. The signs are now the highest signs on a skyscraper in Austin at approximately 420 feet high.

Floorplates range in size from 16,826 to 25,856 square feet.

Frost Bank Tower4 Frost Bank Tower

May 28, 2003, the building has its topping out ceremony for the main roof and mechanical penthouse. A 30-foot cedar tree was hoisted to the top of the mechanical penthouse.

The project includes a plaza with a restaurant, a workout facility and high-speed elevators.  conference facilities, dry-cleaner, full-service bank, ATM, deli/carry-out restaurants, coffee shop, overnight courier drop box, and a fitness center. In addition, the property features an 11-level parking garage with more than 1,400 parking spaces. Frost Bank Tower is easily accessible to and from Mopac Expressway and Interstate 35.

Tallest building in Austin when it opened.

The building’s lighting design won Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design Inc. the 2004 IALD Award of Merit.

 It was the first high-rise building to be constructed in the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks.

designed by Duda/Paine Architects, LLP and HKS, Inc.

 It has the title for tallest logo above ground in the city.

During construction, the building was derided by some locals for having a garish design. However the building was also voted the best new building by Austin Chronicle readers in 2004.

record-setting deal for more than $354 per square foot, a total of $188 million, signed Thursday.

The Frost Bank Tower will be acquired by the Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust, the nation’s largest publicly owned office building manager

In 2006 The Frost Bank Tower was sold for at the time a record price of $354 per sq. ft. to the Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust, the nation’s largest publicly owned office building manager for a total price of $188 million.

Tenants include Jenkins & Gilchrist, Winstead, Sechrest & Minick, and Constructors and Associates.

Companies involved in this Building*  
architect: HKS, Inc., Duda/Paine Architects, LLP
empty Frost Bank Tower
Other firms: Thomas Properties Group, LLC, Cousins Properties Inc., Constructors & Associates Inc., C. Young & Company, Brockette Davis Drake, Inc., Michael E. James & Associates, Inc., Susman Tisdale Gayle Architects, Inc., Turner Collie & Braden, Inc., Cline Bettridge Berstein Lighting Design, Spectrum Lighting Inc., Cousins Properties Inc., Security Management Consulting, Texas Crane Services, Capform Inc., Myrex Industries, Bludau Fabrication, Inc., Haley-Greer, Inc., Morgan Stanley, Constructors & Associates Inc., Dewey Ballantine LLP, Graves Dougherty Hearon and Moody PC, Jenkens & Gilchrist PC, Winstead Sechrest & Minick PC, Frost National Bank, University of Texas Investment Management Co, Heritage Title Co.

6th October Bridge

The 10th longest bridge in the world as of this posting and 10th on our list is  the 6th October Bridge in Cairo, Egypt.  The bridge is 12.74 miles long, connection part of the city highway to the Cairo International Airport.  The people of Cairo call this bridge, the spinal cord of Cairo because half the city travels on it daily.  The bridge is usually croweded due to everyone useing it and can take as long as 45 minutes to cross when traffic is heavy.  The bridge was under construction for 30 years and was finnaly finnished in 1996.

6th October Bridge 6th October Bridge

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) is a 23 mile long bridge and tunnel system that connects southeastern Virginia with Delmarva Peninsula in the United States.  The bridge connects the following independent cities Virginia Beach, and Norfolk, Virginia to Cape Charles in Northampton County along the eastern shore of Virginia.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel uses a combo of tunnels and bridges over two separated shipping channels using four artificial islands built in the bay as portals.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel2 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

The bridge-tunnel was opened on April 15th, 1964, in August 1987 it was officially named the Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge-Tunnel after one of the civic leaders who worked for its development.  However, it still is best known as Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel3 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

The bridge part of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel as far as I can know is 15.6 Miles long which is why this bridge is placed at number at the worlds 9th longest bridge and 7th longest over water and 4th longest bridge in the USA and 8th longest that is used by autos. 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel4 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

The above water part of the bridge was upgraded in 1995-1999 from 2 lanes to a 4 lanes at a cost of $200 million

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel5 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

After the bridge-tunnel opened in 1964, it was selected as One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World by American Society of Civil Engineers, however it has been replaced on this list since with more recent engineering wonders. 

 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel6 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

Binhai Mass Transit

The Tianjin Binhai Mass Transit (BMT) (滨海快速) or Jinbin light rail (津滨轻轨) is not like the other bridges on the list so far this one is a light rail fast transit line or a rapid metro train line.  The longest all bridge part of this train line is 16.03 Miles long which makes this the 8th longest bridge in the world and first longest train bridge.  This bridge connects Metropolitan Tianjin to TEDA which are both located in China.

Binhai Mass Transit Binhai Mass Transit

The length of the eastern part of the bridge, from Zhongshanmen to Donghailu, is 28.22 miles, of which, 24.8 miles is elevated, and 3.41 miles is on ground, taking a total of around an hour in either direction. A big portion of the service is alongside with the Jintang expressway. The west part, from Zhongxinguangchang to Zhongshanmen, will be 4.57 miles long, of which, 0.36 miles will be elevated, 0.17 miles will be transition, 4.14 miles will be below ground. The total length of the line will be 32.78 miles, and the Binhai line is the longest rapid transit line in China. The construction work of the west part began in 2004, to be completed in 2008.

Binhai Mass Transit2 Binhai Mass Transit

The train used for the Binhai Mass Transit can travel up to 62.14 miles per hour, which is the record speed for any rapid transit system in China.  Construction of the bridge/rapid transit line began on May 18th, 2001 and was finished on September 30th, 2003.  The lines where opened in 2004.

Jinbin light rail Binhai Mass Transit

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

The 7th bridge on our list is the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge all though I do not have much information about this bridge nor do I know how much steel was used on this bridge. 

 below the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

 If anyone has information to add please comment so we can add information.  This is what we do know as of this posting Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is the 7th longest bridge in the world and the 6th longest over water. The bridge is located in Louisiana, USA and carries interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya Basin the bridge has a total length of 96,095 feet or 18.2 miles long. 

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

Donghai Bridge

The Donghai Bridge is the second longest cross-sea bridge and the 6th longest bridge in the world.

Donghai Bridge Donghai Bridge

The bridge was the longest cross-sea bridge in the world for a few years until  Hangzhou Bay Bridge was opened on May 1st, 2008.

Donghai Bridge2 Donghai Bridge

The Donghai Bridge (simplified Chinese: 东海大桥; traditional Chinese: 東海大橋; pinyin: Dōnghǎi Dàqiáo; literally “East Sea Grand Bridge”) was completed on December 10th, 2005 and has a total length of 20.19 miles it connects Yangshan deep-water port and Shanghai in China. 

Donghai Bridge3 Donghai Bridge

The majority of the bridge is low-level viaduct but there are also cable-stayed sections to allow large ships passage. 

 Donghai Bridge4 Donghai Bridge

Not sure how much steel was used in the construction of this bridge, but as always if I get these figures I will post them or if you have them feel free to comment so everyone can know.

Donghai Bridge under construction Donghai Bridge

Runyang Bridge

The Runyang Bridge or Rùnyáng Chángjiāng Dàqiáo crosses the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, China. 

Runyang Bridge Runyang Bridge

The bridge consist of two major bridges that link Tangzhou on the north of the river and Zhenjiang on the South.  The bridge is part of the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway. 

Runyang Bridge side view Runyang Bridge

The south bridge is a suspension bridge with a span of 4888 ft it is the 3rd longest suspension bridge in the world, and the longest in China up untill 2007 when the Xihoumen Bridge was opened and made it the 2nd longest in china and 4th in the world. 

 Runyang Bridge2 Runyang Bridge

The main span of the bridge consists of a streamlined orthotropic steel box girder that is 3 metres (10 ft) in depth. The width of the deck is 39.2 metres (129 ft), accommodating 6 traffic lanes and a narrow walkway at each outside edge for maintenance. The height clearance for river navigation is about 50 metres (164 ft).

Runyang Bridge3 Runyang Bridge

The north bridge is a cable-stayed bridge with a span of 1332 ft with towers 492 ft abover water level.  In the middle of the two bridges is the island of Sivezhou.  The length of the bridge is 22.16 miles.  The construction of the bridge started in October 2000 and was opened to the public on April 30th, 2005 , it was opened ahead of schedule

Runyang Bridge south Runyang Bridge

Hangzhou Bay Bridge

The Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the worlds 4th longest bridge 3rd longest over water bridge and the worlds longest Trans-oceanic bridge at 22.17 miles long . 

 Hangzhou Bay Bridge Hangzhou Bay Bridge

Construction on this bridge started on June 8th, 2003 and was completed on June 14th, 2007.  The opening ceremony was on June 26th, 2007 even though the bridge was not officially open to the public until May 1st, 2008. This is as of this posting the longest bridge in China and was built to last at least 100 years. 

Hangzhou Bay Bridge side view Hangzhou Bay Bridge

Hangzhou Bay Bridge is a bridge with cable-stayed bridge portions across the Hangzhou Bay off the east coast of china.  The bridge was built in an s shape so that the annual silver dragon is minimally affected. The bridge has two main spans a 1,470 ft northern span and a 1,043 ft southern span.

Hangzhou Bay Bridge from the air Hangzhou Bay Bridge

The bridge has 6 express lanes in two directions. The speed limit is 62 miles per hour.   Orthotropic steel deck is used on its main spans and five ramp bridges, and was paved with 50 millimeters (2.0 in) epoxy asphalt concrete. 

 Hangzhou Bay Bridge before completion Hangzhou Bay Bridge

The bridge uses different colors and flashing lights to keep drivers from getting drowsy and pay attention to the road instead.  Previously the trip from Ningbo to Shanghai and southern Jiangsu involved a detour of around 400 km (249 mi), the bridge reduces that distance to 80 km (50 mi), a reduction of 320 km (199 mi).

Hangzhou Bay Bridge under construction Hangzhou Bay Bridge

The result is that Ningbo, with its port at Beilun, will be able to compete with Shanghai’s port Pudong for international sea freight.

Hangzhou Bay Bridge under construction2 Hangzhou Bay Bridge

This is just one of the investments China has made in it’s transportation infrastructure in the past few years.  

hangzhoy bay bridge overview Hangzhou Bay Bridge

The bridge is expected to boost tourism in Ningbo.  Again I do not have the figures on how much steel was used in the construction of this bridge but if you get it I will post it,  and as always if you have this information feel free to comment.

under the Hangzhou Bay Bridge Hangzhou Bay Bridge