What’s your favorite ASCE Historic Civil Engineering Landmark?

July is road-trip season, which for many civil engineers means the chance to visit some of the world’s most iconic civil engineering landmarks.

The Eiffel Tower? The Brooklyn Bridge? The Grand Coulee Dam? All of the above?

ASCE has designated more than 200 projects as Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.

Civil engineers took to ASCE Collaborate recently to share stories about their favorites. Here are some highlights from that discussion (and be sure to log in and contribute your favorites):

Heidi Wallace at the Acueducto de Segovia. PHOTO: Heidi Wallace

Heidi Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE

Tulsa, Oklahoma

“I didn’t realize ASCE had landmarks until I was in Spain with my dad. We were in Segovia in 2019, looking at the aqueduct, and as we went to walk up the steps I noticed that the plaque said ‘ASCE.’

“I made sure to take a picture of it … . I highly recommend taking the trip if you have the chance. It was incredible to see how precise the construction was with a nearly constant slope considering the terrain changes and the materials being used.”

René Vidales at the landmark dedication for the University Heights Water Tower in San Diego. PHOTO: René Vidales

René Vidales, P.E., M.ASCE

San Diego

“The University Heights Water Tower in San Diego obtained ASCE Local Historic Engineering Landmark status in 2015, with local leaders in attendance. Originally built in 1924, a riveted steel tank raised on 12 steel girders high above San Diego’s early streetcar suburbs, it held more than 1 million gallons of water for a growing city. Now the water tower has become a hallmark for the neighborhood.”

Mitch Winkler at the Middlesex Canal in Massachusetts. PHOTO: Mitch Winkler

Mitchell Winkler, P.E., M.ASCE


“Growing up, I spent countless weekends with my father and sometimes mother and siblings exploring the remnants of the Middlesex Canal. The canal, opened in 1803, connected textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Boston Harbor.

“It operated for about 50 years before being replaced by rail. It’s been recognized by ASCE with this claim to fame: The Middlesex Canal is one of the oldest man-made waterways in the United States. The canal served as a model for the later Erie Canal.

“My father remains active in the Middlesex Canal Association, while my brother has started leading walks along different sections that remain preserved today.”

Join the conversation on ASCE Collaborate.

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  1. My favorite is the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (now Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR) constructed in 1880. At an approx. grade of 1% out of Antonito, CO, USA at elevation 8,000 ft to the Cumbres (summit) at 10,012 ft and down into the then territory of Nuevo Mexico, USA at a grade of 4%. The railroad crossed the state lines 11 times thru beautiful scenwry, 2 tunnels, deep gorges and over high tressels. All of which were constructed in one year with hand labor mule powered fresnos, black powder and wooden timbers.
    The tracks were laid as 3 foot narrow gauge for the tight curves and coal fired steam locomotives, many of which still operate today as a 64 mile excursion train along the Sam rail bed. All of which is operated by the States of New Mexico and Colorado.
    Visit: https://cumbrestoltec.com/

  2. Aldo Reginatto, F ASCE, retired. My favorite is the Panteón, in Rome. It’s huge concrete dome was u surpassed in size for centuries, and it is still standing after almost 2000 years.

  3. High Bridge, Farmville, Va – On discontinued line of Northern Southern Rail Road,built 1854
    Martin Lane PE, PhD, Life member 129599


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