Civil engineers are the people who design things like bridges, roads, and ports. They are also responsible for critical, though less glamorous, parts of the infrastructure. It’s an important field, and although there are a wide variety of projects, there are some pieces that stand out as masterpieces of civil engineering.

Although the modern sewer system could be counted as a civil engineering masterpiece, the following are slightly flashier locations. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) includes over 200 projects all over the world on their list of ASCE Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. Here are five of those places, organized by location.

The United States

When looking at great feats of civil engineering, the United States has no short supply. One landmark that stands out is the Hoover Dam in Nevada. Finished in 1935, the Hoover Dam was created to keep the Colorado River from flooding. Made of 6.6 million tons of concrete, it was the largest dam made of concrete ever created.

Also in the United States is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The current lighthouse was built in 1868 and is 208 feet high, having been remade taller because of the thick fog. Made using over a million bricks, this North Carolina lighthouse is the second tallest brick lighthouse in the world.


In Europe, there are several masterpieces of civil engineering. One is the Old Wisla Bridge in Poland. Completed in 1857, it was built as a lattice-truss bridge, the first in Europe to be built in the long span style. Partially destroyed when Germany invaded Poland during World War II, what is left is remarkable. The Netherlands also boast a feat of civil engineering in their Delta Works, a series of dams, sluices, and dikes that protect the country from catastrophic floods. The project took around fifty years to complete. It was finished in 2010 and is considered one of the modern wonders of the world.

Modern projects remind us that civil engineering is still an important part of everyday life. An online MCE degree would give interested students the training to make their dreams a reality. Students could work on a variety of projects all over the world. An online civil engineering program, like the one offered at Norwich University, helps people interested in civil engineering find their passions and use them to make the world a better place.


No discussion of civil engineering landmarks is complete without including the Panama Canal. According to the ASCE, it is the greatest sea-to-sea lock canal ever created. The Canal goes through Panama, an isthmus that separates the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Panama, and by extension, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. To link the two, the French began construction in 1876, before selling the land to the United States. American engineers redesigned the plans and after ten years, the Panama Canal was complete.

These five projects are just a small sample of many projects created by civil engineers. From lighthouses to dams, from bridges to canals, civil engineering improves lives all over the world and often does it in style.