News In Brief

IT SHOULD GO SWIMMINGLY The happiest politician in Australia these days may be Prime Minister John Howard. When last we looked in on him, Howard was complaining in a broadcast interview that his constituents were stubborn, unfriendly, and making government's job more difficult. All that ... because a beach town near Sydney had rejected the TV series "Baywatch," whose producers wanted to make it their new location for the next six years. That sent the internationally syndicated lifeguard show to Hawaii instead, along with a payroll in the millions of dollars. Well, guess what? Union officials in the Aloha State didn't want it either, at least not under the proposed contract terms. So now production is headed to Australia after all.

Channel tunnel chosen top construction feat of century

The English Channel tunnel, or "Chunnel," as it's sometimes called, beat out San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the Aswan High Dam on the River Nile in Egypt, and the Sydney (Australia) Opera House to be named the No. 1 construction achievement of the 20th century in a recent poll of 400 industry experts at a CONEXPO-CON/AGG show in Las Vegas. Survey participants were asked to consider the economic impacts, benefits to humanity, influences on other projects, and innovations represented by various building projects in making their choices. The resulting top 10 construction feats of the century:

1. English Channel tunnel

2. Golden Gate Bridge,

San Francisco

3. US Interstate Highway

System

4. Empire State Building,

New York

5. Hoover Dam, on Colorado

River between Arizona and Nevada

6. Panama Canal

7. Sydney Opera House,

Sydney, Australia

8. Aswan High Dam, Egypt

9. World Trade Center,

New York

10. Chek Lap Kok Airport,

Hong Kong

- Reuters

Compiled by Robert Kilbornand Lance Carden

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