The Three Gorges Dam lies in Zhongbao Island of Sandouping in Yichang City, Hubei Province and is located 38 kilometers away from Gezhou Dam. The three gorges dam covers 15.28 square kilometers, and it divides into two parts - building area and office and life area. In the office and life area, there is standing a four star hotel – Three Gorges Hotel. There are also the Three Gorges Exhibition Hall, Three Gorges Control Center, Gardens and Modern Buildings. Three Gorges Exhibition Hall is built in October 1st, 1992, with an area of 6,600 square meters. In the hall, there is a color-picture of Three Gorges of Yangtze River hanging on the wall.
On June 1st, 2003, this dam began to fill. Many beautiful sites had been and will be submerged under water. It’s reported that Fengjie County had been submerged, Ghost City in Fengdu, Shibaozhai will become a castle over the river, Zhangfei Temple will be moved and White Emperor City will become an Isolated Island.
Three Gorges Dam Projection
So far, Three Gorges Project, which is the most important measure that controls the flood of the middle and the lower reaches, is the largest hydroelectric project in the world.
This project is mainly composed of a Great Dam, Electric Factory Buildings and several architectures running 2300 meters long and 185 meters high. The usual water storage in reservoir is 175 meters. Its annual generating capacity is six times as much as Gezhouba Dam’s. Over $90 billion Yuan has been invested into the Yangtze Damn project. The experts planed to accomplish the whole project in 18 years. They also divided this project into three parts.
First period: this period lasted 5 years. It began from 1992 to 1997. Besides the preparation for this project, the engineers paid much attention at first to construct the first period’s dykes and dam, dig some channels and build a temporary floodgate on the left riverside which is 120 meters high. And then they began to build the permanent floodgate, elevators and part of left riverside’s dam. In November 1997, by damming the Yangtze River, the first period had finished. At that time, the water level was increased from 68 meters to 88 meters. Some channels that had been built completely could bear the largest water capacity about 20,000 cubic meters per second. All the changes had no effects on water transportation and shipping during the first period.
Second period: this period lasted six years. It began from 1998 to 2003. The main work was building the second period’s dykes and dam and continuing construction of the permanent floodgate, elevators and part of electric facilities. In July 2003, the water level was up to 35 meters high. From then on, Zhangfei Temple and some dangerous shoals in Yangtze River were submerged. An unfortunate fact that tourists will never have a chance to visit them in future.
Third period: it will last six years. It’s estimated that the whole project will be finished completely in 2009. The engineers are continuing to install all the electric facilities and building the great dam on the right riverside. When completing the third period, Three Gorges Reservoir will be 600 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide, with an area of 10,000 square kilometers. Experts said, “In winter, the water level will reach 175 meters high. In summer, in order to avoid flooding, the water level can reduce to 145 meters. So every year the change of water lever is within 30 meters. And these changes will have a few effects on some great places of interest just like Zhangfei Temple.”
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