Superstadium It's not just the cool steel-ribbon gift wrapping that makes the new Arizona Cardinals stadium radically different; it's everything, from the "Starchitect" design by Peter Eisenman, to North America's first slide-out tray field, to the "pie-slice" construction method, engineered to keep costs to a trim $350 million. The NFL is betting that the Cardinals' new home will help re-brand the woeful Cards as a winner, and kick-start a new era in sports stadia - away from the nostalgic feel of baseball parks, and onward into the future. The construction is now 65 percent complete, with work steaming ahead toward the immovable deadline of NFL opening day in August 2006. The showcase stadium will host the Super Bowl in 2008, and become a new icon for Phoenix, Ariz., and football fans worldwide. There's enough done on site to see the finished product through the skeleton, and enough left to do that there's plenty of extreme action at the stadium every day.
Megatunnel Kuala Lumpur floods. Fed up with the devastating damage of the 1999 and 2003 flooding, the Malayan government gave the go-ahead for an unprecedented solution: a six-mile-long, 20-foot-high storm drain tunnel drilled directly under the city, feeding from the airport to a holding pond out of town. The wrinkle? To make the $525 million project affordable, the tunnel will do double duty as a three-mile-long double-decker toll road, creating the only fast way into and out of the choking capital city traffic.
Biggest Warship What does it feel like to build the largest aircraft carrier on earth - a floating city that will serve as a combat airport, defending American security around the world? The $4.5 billion USS George Bush is now midway through its four-year construction period in the Western Hemisphere's biggest dry dock at Newport News, Va. The critical superlifts are now underway. These cranes can lift 900 tons, and need every pound of that strength to hoist 160 massive sections of completed flight deck sections into place. The pressure is on as every lift must happen with metronomic accuracy - any delay sets the entire project back.
Sakhalin Oil And Ice Danny arrives at the planet's most humongous project: the outrageous Sakhalin oil and gas complex now under construction on a remote Russian island. The Russians are pouring billions into this city-sized operation, which is designed to suck fossil fuel from a frigid corner of the Pacific. Danny puts on his work boots and actually gets to bolt down a huge gas tank suspended from a crane. But he nearly freaks out when he pays a visit to the crane operator - 1,000 feet up in the air.
Big Easy Rebuild The recovery of New Orleans from the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina will take years, if not decades. But before long-term solutions can be debated, designed and implemented, immediate repairs are desperately needed to keep New Orleans dry. The 2006 hurricane season is not far away and the engineers are struggling to get ready. How hard is their job? Says one engineer, "It's like building the Panama Canal - in eight months!" Join Extreme Engineering and host Danny Forster as we plunge deep inside the struggle to plug the leaks. Danny will work alongside the tireless dawn-to-dusk team from the Army Corps of Engineers as they race to repair two critical levees and install the first new floodgate. Each emergency project presents its own set of challenges.
Space Tower The tallest skyscraper in Spain is now under construction in Madrid. The 700-foot-tall Torre del Espacio ("Space Tower") is an insane piece of engineering, unlike any other tall building. It's the only skyscraper in the world where every single floor plan is completely different - a design feature dictated by the spiraling shape of the structure. The bizarre form makes building this thing a nightmare! Unlike run-of-the-mill skyscrapers, building a floor can't be accomplished with traditional construction techniques. Nothing is rectangular, support columns tilt at weird angles, and the concrete forms used to lay out each floor constantly change as the building rises. And the kicker is when a floor is done, there's no easy way to judge if it's been properly built. Only when the emerging shape of the rising building becomes clear will the team know if they've made an error - and by then, it may be too late to do anything about it.
Coaster Build Off Buckle up with Danny Forster as he takes us on a wild ride into the realm of roller-coaster construction. He meets with engineers who create every exacting detail and goes on site to lend a hand in building world-class coasters.
Battle Machines At Kentucky's Fort Knox Armor Center, Danny gets behind the wheel of the U.S. Army's most potent land weapon: the $5 million M1 Abrams tank. He also visits the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, where in just 55 days a battleworn Abrams can be made good as new. Find out if Danny has what it takes to become a tanker - the special breed of soldier that operates this 70-ton machine.
World's Tallest Skyscraper Soon to be the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Shanghai World Financial Center now stands 77 stories tall - and it's growing a floor a week. But the job of building this monster is incredibly tough. Besides a near crippling fear of heights, Danny has to contend with the onset of frigid winter winds born on an approaching typhoon - all while hanging on the outside of the skyscraper, 1,000 feet in the air.
Super Fast Warship Get a behind-the-scenes look at the high-tech world aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer. Then, join Danny at the famed Bath Iron Works in Maine, and watch as the workers at this high-security shipyard place the finishing touches on a new warship.
Boot Camp Danny Forster's been on job sites all over the world. He's smart as a whip and he's great at figuring out and explaining how the toughest jobs in the world get done. Now Danny goes to construction boot camp. For one week, Danny's going to get a crash course in everything from heavy equipment operation to how to use a shovel. Under the skeptical eye of guys who know what it's like to take a green kid, break him down and then build him up again, Danny will gain a new appreciation for the sheer skill and persistence it takes to master the building trades.
Fault Zone Tunnel Go inside one of the most difficult and dangerous tunneling projects in the world. Outside Los Angeles, Danny heads underground with the team attempting to dig two huge tunnels that will supply freshwater to Southern California. Burrowing 1,000 feet under a mountain range, the project has faced cave-ins and floods - not to mention being prone to earthquakes as it's being constructed along the San Andreas Fault.
Hurricane-Proof Homes A new, high-tech method of construction is replacing homes damaged by hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. Danny will join a team of 100 factory workers as they race to build an entire house that can withstand 160-mph winds in just five days. When they finish, two halves of the finished house will be shrink-wrapped and loaded onto trucks for delivery. Danny will embark on a 200-mile journey in Mississippi to deliver the home to its new owners, and he will help with the final installation.