The Yangtze River Dam Project

The Yangtze River Dam is the largest hydro development project ever built. It is the backbone undertaking in the development and harnessing of the Yangtze River.

By the time the dam structure was completed, water levels had been raised by almost the 175 meters (575 feet) expected target and over one million people in 116 towns had been resettled.

It took 17 years to build. The structure created the world's largest reservoir, and it is a monumental achievement measuring 2 kilometers wide and 185 meters high, a very impressive sight.

Yangtze River Dam Yangtze River Dam Yangtze River Dam

Benefits of the dam will be mainly in

  • flood control

  • power generation and

  • navigation improvement

Yangtze River Dam Project

The project is composed of:

  • The Dam

  • Two power plants

  • The navigation facilities

The Three Gorges Dam is the top producer of hydroelectricity in the world. The Dam structure was completed in 2006. The Power Plants have a total of 32 generators already on operation, the last turbine was installed in 2012.

All combined will have a power generating capacity of 22,500 Megawatts. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this proyect, the Hoover Dam, in comparison, has a capacity of 1,345 megawatts.

The navigation structures consist of the permanent Ship Locks and a Shiplift, sort of an elevator for boats 3,000 tons or less.

The Ship Locks consist of five steps and go both ways. We entered the locks at the end of the Third Day of our cruise. The kids thought it was so cool, like riding on Starship Enterprise... how the water level dropped, the opening of the gates and passing to the next chamber...

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The next day we visited the Three Gorges Dam project. From the observation platforms, you get a nice view of the entire complex: the ship elevator, the power plant and the locks.

Also, there is a model that shows the entire thing and it's perfect to explain the kids how our boat "climbed down the stairs" to get to the other side.

Yangtze River Dam Project Model

This completed the "Cruise" portion of our Yangtze River Cruise.

From the Dam we drove to Yichang where we spent the rest of the time until our flight to Shanghai that afternoon.

(Point Over the Thumbnails at the Bottom to Scroll through the Photos)

Approaching the Yangtze River Dam
Approaching the Yangtze River Dam
Approaching the Yangtze River Dam The first lock downstream Entering the Lock Chamber Entering the Lock Chamber Water level drops
Lock gate opens Entering the next lock chamber The Three Gorges Dam from observation platform The Three Gorges Dam from observation platform The Three Gorges Dam from observation platform

...more Yangtze River pictures

Booking Your Yangtze River Cruise

You are here: > > > Day Three: Crossing the Locks and Day 4: Visiting the Yangtze River Dam

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