Civil Engineering

We see bridges, buildings and highways on a daily basis, but have you ever wondered how these structures are designed and built? These civil engineering articles help explain this very question.

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I've noticed that the insides of road and subway tunnels are usually covered in ceramic tile. Is there any particular reason for this or is it simply convention?

Is there any rhyme or reason to how U.S. interstate highways are numbered?

It's been some 15 years in the making and is still under construction. What's the real story behind the Jeddah Tower's delay?

By Dave Roos


Back in the 1930s, folks realized they needed a better way to cross the Golden Gate Strait between San Francisco and the Marin Headlands than by boat. Over eighty years later, the Golden Gate Bridge is the city's most prominent landmark.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

In the news about the recent accident at a ski resort in Austria, the reporters called the cable car that carried the skiers up the mountain a "funicular railway." What is that and how does it work?

So, how much does a semi truck weigh? We'll explore what a semi truck weighs and how weigh stations work.

By Yara Simón

London without the Tube? New York without its underground scene? Atlantans gliding straight from their MARTA stops to the airport? What would life be like without our underground transportation system?

By Tracy V. Wilson


We are a species of bridge builders. Since time began, humans have engineered structures to vault over obstacles with the help of logs, stone, steel and, of course, ingenuity. So, what keeps our bridges steadfast and strong?

By Robert Lamb, Michael Morrissey & Patrick J. Kiger

Environmental engineering existed long before it had a name. It began at the dawn of civilization when we started changing our surroundings to meet our needs.

By Bernadette Johnson

It's a recipe for disaster: Venice is sinking, and the waters around it are rising. Can the controversial MOSE project save Italy's famous city with a series of aqua gates?

By Nathan Chandler

Is 1 mile out of 5 on U.S. interstates really supposed to be straight so that planes can land on them in an emergency? Find out the truth about this long-held urban legend.

By Cherise Threewitt


Bridges connect people and places, with inspired engineering and views that can't be beat. Here are the 10 longest in the world.

By Laurie L. Dove

The Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia is the deepest hole in the world. It's deeper than the Mariana Trench and deeper than Mt. Everest is tall. Why did the Russians dig this deep, and why did they stop?

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

The U.S. has some of the longest highways in the world, but the nine longest are scattered all over the globe.

By Jesslyn Shields

Saudi Arabia's proposal to build a 106-mile-long, self-sufficient, road- and car-free, one-building city would make it the first of its kind in the world.

By Laurie L. Dove


Before 1933, getting around London on the massively confusing Tube system was a nightmare. That's when draftsman Harry Beck stepped in and revolutionized map design.

By Patrick J. Kiger

The designer of New York's Central Park believed that public parks were 'democratic spaces' belonging to all citizens, and aren't we glad he did?

By Wendy Bowman

The name bestowed on a road depends on its size and function. And it's not just up to your neighborhood's developer either.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Bordeaux's famed and beautiful reflecting pool will have you snapping photographs and feeling like you're walking on water.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.


You might be surprised to learn that the twists and turns of streets in the suburbs date all the way to the Industrial Revolution.

By Adina Solomon

There's a mysterious tower in Texas that strongly resembles Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower. Its constructors say they're testing some new forms of electromagnetic waves. But is something else going on?

By Nathan Chandler

Roundabouts aren't all that complicated, but they're still relatively rare in the U.S., especially when compared with France.

By Clint Pumphrey

What do you do when you're out of land but want to expand an airport? Try building on water.

By Jonathan Strickland


The Senate just crossed a hurdle to get a bipartisan infrastructure bill signed. It could pay for new roads, bridges and other installations that a country needs to function. But why is infrastructure so notoriously hard to fund in America anyway?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Smart traffic lights monitor traffic and continuously adjust their timing to improve flow, and can even help disabled or elderly pedestrians navigate crosswalks. Could they be a solution to the problems of traffic stress and road rage?

By Patrick J. Kiger