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Yichang, with a population of 3 million and history of over 7000 years, is located at the eastern exit of the Yangtze River in west Hubei Province, and the communication gullet of Sichuan and Hubei provinces. It is known as the "Gateway of the three gorges". The Ge Zhou Dam built by the end of 1970s is here, and the world well-known Three Gorges Dam is only about 45km to the north of this city, which will be fully completed in 2009.
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Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam, the largest water conservancy project ever under taken by human being is now being built at Sandouping in the middle of Xiling Gorge, about 45 km from Yichang. The Three Gorges Dam will be 2,335 meters long, 185 meters high, 18 meters wide on top and 130 meters wide at the bottom. The Dam will raise the river to a level of 175 meters above sea level, creating a 600-kilometer long reservoir with a storage capacity of 39.9 billion cubic meters extending from the dam-site all the way to Chongqing. 570,000 acres of farmland and towns and villages in 19 counties and cities will be flooded, causing 1.3 million people to be relocated. The construction of the project will cost 230 billion Chinese Yuan, an equivalent of 28 billion US dollars. The purposes for building this huge dam are for flood control, electricity, navigation and irrigation.

The construction of the dam formally began under way in 1994.The first stage of the Three Gorges Dam project is scheduled for completion in 2003, which will make 5 levels of ship locks from high to low water level. Although the scenery will change along the Yangtze with the construction of Three Gorges Dam, new sites and scenery will be created. For example, a submarine museum will be built to preserve the inscriptions on the White Crane Ridge, and many historical sites will be moved to higher ground. After the dam is completed in 2009, ships will continue cruising the Yangtze River; passengers will then be passing through the largest national park in the world, which will be established upon completion of the dam.

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