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Staggering construction projects by Spanish companies

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Sun, sea, and sangria: Spain is famed for its laid back, relaxed lifestyle and gastronomic excellence.

What might surprise you, though, is the scale of construction projects that Spanish companies are involved in around the world, with big names in the industry including Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) and Ferrovial.

From Saudi Arabia to Australia and everywhere in between, here are eight of the most spectacular.

The Panama Canal, Panama:

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The expansion of the Panama Canal—a man-made wonder of the world— is one of the 21st century's most ambitious construction and engineering projects.

Madrid-based Sacyr is leading GUPC, the consortium awarded a multi-billion dollar contract for the "Third Set of Locks" project.

The construction of the canal's "Third Set of Locks" is crucial and involves two vast construction sites—one on the Atlantic Ocean, the other on the Pacific—each of almost 1.2 miles in length

Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia:

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Work commenced on the construction of a subway in Riyadh, the capital and largest city in Saudi Arabia, in April 2014. Barcelona's Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) is leading a consortium awarded the contract to build lines four, five and six of the system.

In May of this year, FCC began building the subway's first tunnel using boring machines with a diameter of 21 yards.

The project has an overall budget of 16.3 billion euro ($18.2 billion), with roughly 6 billion euros earmarked for those aspects overseen by FCC.

The three lines FCC is working on will include 40 miles of subway tracks, 14 miles of viaducts and 8 miles of surface tracks, according to the company's website.

Farringdon Station, United Kingdom:


Crossrail—a train line which will stretch more than 62 miles and connect towns to the east and west of London—is the largest construction project currently taking place in Europe.

The new Farringdon Crossrail Station, which will be located near to London's financial City district, is a key part of the project.

Madrid-headquartered Ferrovial is part of BFK, a consortium including BAM and Kier, which built two tunnels to connect Royal Oak station to Farringdon. In 2011, BFK was awarded the contract to build the new Farringdon station.

Crossrail should revolutionize rail travel in London, providing direct access to three of London's airports, with more than 140 trains per hour expected to run.

Pacific Highway, Australia:

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Almost 600 miles in length, the Pacific Highway is one of Australia's busiest and most picturesque drives and links Sydney to Brisbane.

Spain's Ferrovial is undertaking a project to upgrade almost 20km (12 miles) of the highway in New South Wales. New bridges are to be built as part of the project, which has a budget of 351 million euros and is due to be opened in 2016.

Tilo's Arch, Canary Islands:


While Spain's infrastructure giants are making waves abroad, they are also working on projects closer to home.

Completed in 2004, Tilo's Arch is a staggering viaduct-bridge built on La Palma in the Canary Islands, stretching over a ravine.

The total length of the bridge is over 300 metres (328 yards), while the arch itself has a total span of more than 250 meters, according to Ferrovial, which was behind the project.

Mersey Bridge, United Kingdom:

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Spain's FCC is part of a consortium that is designing and building a new bridge that will cross Liverpool's famous River Mersey.

The bridge will be over two kilometers (1.2 miles) in length, crossing a river spanning 1,000 meters. It should help to ease traffic congestion in and around the city, carrying 80,000 vehicles daily.

Forth Replacement Crossing, Scotland:

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The Forth Replacement Crossing outside of Edinburgh is one of the biggest engineering projects currently taking place in Europe. The end result is set to be the world's longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge – the Queensferry Crossing – and will include a revamped road system.

The 1.1 billion euro contract to build the bridge and surrounding roads was awarded in 2011 to consortium which includes Hochtief and Dragados, both part of Spain's ACS Group.

According to Transport for Scotland, more than 30,000 tons of steel will be used in the bridge's construction. Set to open next year, the bridge will be 1.7 miles long.

Eglinton Crosstown light metro line, Canada:

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In June, ACS Group announced that its subsidiaries, Iridium and Dragados Canada, were part of a consortium awarded the contract for the design, construction, funding and 30-year maintenance of the Eglinton Crosstown light metro line in Toronto.

The line will be 19km (12 miles) long according to ACS, and is part of a $12 billion plan to transform transport in the Toronto area.