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Text 6. Big is the Best


Exercise 35. Before you start:

Work in pairs. You have one minute. How many different dams or tunnels can you think of? Compare your answers with the rest of the class.


Exercise 36. Read the text quickly and decide which structure it describes.


a) The Hoover Dam

b) The Arlberg Tunnel

с) The Channel Tunnel

d) The Golden Gate Bridge


The ... is between Britain and France. It's more than 20 kilometres long. It was built by British and French engineers. They started on opposite sides and met in the middle under the sea. They used specially-designed tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to dig the tunnels through the rock under the seabed. TBMs are enormous machines for digging tunnels. The machines used to dig the main tunnels were about 8.5 metres in diameter and 250 metres long. Work started in 1987 and the teams met under the seabed in 1991. It is a rail tunnel. The first passenger train went through in 1994.

Exercise 37. Read the text again and answer the questions (1-9) below.

1. Where is it?

2. What is it?

3. How long is it?

4. Who built it?

5. How did they build it?

6. What are TBMs?

7. How big are TBMs?

8. How long did it take to build?

9. When did it open?


Exercise 38. First, underline the question words in Exercise 3. Then use them to complete these questions.

1. _____ many Roman roads are there in Europe?

2. _____ designed St Paul's Cathedral in London?

3. _____ is the name of the famous bridge in San Francisco?

4. _____ was the Eiffel Tower built?

5. _____ is the Corinth Canal?


Exercise 39. Complete the texts by putting one word in each space. Use the words in the box. Check the meaning of any new words in the glossary or your dictionary.

■across ■ around ■ between ■ over ■ through ■ under


The Panama Canal is a 64km waterway (1)__________ the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Before the canal was opened, ships had to travel thousands of miles (2) ____________ South America. To build the canal, engineers had to dam a major river, and dig a channel (3) ______________ a mountain ridge.

Tower Bridge is an openable bascule bridge, designed by Horace Lones in 1886. It goes (4) ___________ the River Thames in London. Thousands of vehicles drive (5) ________ it every day. Tall ships cannot pass (6) _____ Tower Bridge, instead, the roadway parts and lifts to let them through.


Exercise 40. Write questions about a building, tunnel, or dam. Use who, what,when, where, and how. Make sure you know the answers!

For example: How old is it? Where is it?


Exercise 41. Work with a partner. Ask and answer the questions you wrote in Exercise 6.


Exercise 42. Find out about a major new engineering project. Where is it? What will it do? What problems do the engineers have to solve to build?


Text 7. Gadgets



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