Three Gorges Project
Yangtze River & Three Gorges Dam
The Yangtze River is the longest river in China and the third longest
river in the world. With countless streams converging and passing
through mountains and valleys it is said to be the cradle of Chinese
civilization. With its everlasting majestic power, the Yangtze River
hs created one of the Top Ten Scenic areas in China: The Three Gorges
completing its course in the East China Sea.
Once completed, the Three Gorges Dam promises to yield the
equivalent power of 15 nuclear plants. The river itself will rise to
a final 575 feet above sea level, completely submerging existing
towns along the way and flooding the narrow gorges of the
The Three Gorges is the general name for the Qutang, Wu and
Xiling gorges. It begins in Baidi City located in Fengjie county in
the Chonqing Municipality, and ends in Yichang City, part of the
1st Phase of Construction:1993-1997
The planning of the project was started in 1993.
The actual building of the project started in
December 1994. Zhongbaodao Island was used to build Dyke A to divert the river water and to
connect the right riverbank to the other dyke. In order to build the main section of the dam the
diversion channel was made and the foundation work was able to begin on the dry riverbed. At
the same time, the start of the construction of the locks began.
2nd Phase of Construction:1997-2003
Another dyke was built on the left riverbank to divert the water in the other direction to start
the construction on the dry riverbed. Later the flood relief dam, the main part of the dam, was
constructed on the riverbed while 14 of the generators were installed. Another diversion
channel was opened to navigation and was dammed again in November 2003.
3rd Phase of Construction:2003-2009
The diversion channel is dammed. The dykes on both sides will divert the water back to
the main river and water will begin to turn the generators. The five stage ship locks will
be put into operation. The main part of the dam will be complete and the remaining 12
generators will be completed.
The height of the Three Gorges Dam will reach 185 meters. This will be the one of the
largest dams in the world. All 26 generators will be put into operation by 2009 and will
produce a large sum of China's electricity while controlling the flood zones.
Three Gorges Dam Information
|Dam location||Sandouping Town, Yichang, Hubei Provence|
|Completion schedule||1993-2009 (17 years)|
|Height||185 meters or 607 feet|
|Length||584 meters or 1916 feet|
|Amount of concrete in structure||27 million cubic meters or 88.5 million cubic feet|
|Double-way 5 step lock system||Accommodates 10,000 ton freighters|
|Total capacity of reservoir||39.3 billion cubic meters|
|Average annual generation||84.68 billion kilowatts|
|Total investment||180 billion RMB or 27 billion U.S. dollars|
|Total number of resettled people||Aproximatly 1.3 million|