Three Gorges Project and Navigation
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Three Gorges Project and Navigation

Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Project and Navigation – Navigation on the Yangtze River

The length of navigable waterway of the Yangtze River is 2800 kilometers, which is 70 percent of the whole Length of navigable inland waterways, and the freight volume is 80 percent of all inland rivers. However, ten thousands tons fleet, which is important mark of measuring the navigation capacity, can't go forward after go over the 1143 kilometers ways from Yangtze River estuary to Hankou.

If want to totally resolve the problem that "the water level in middle stream is low and the water course in upstream is very steep", the Three Gorges Project is a necessary project. After the water impounding in Three Gorges Reservoir, all the steep shoals on the Chuanjiang River will be submerged, the depth of water in Chuanjiang River will increase 40 percent, width of the river course will increase two times, the flow rate will decrease 50 percent, and ten thousands tons Yangtze Cruise can safely and smoothly reach Chongqing from Yichang. It is estimated that the cost of transportation in the Chuanjiang River will decrease 35 percent after the Three Gorges Project completed.

It is very hard to make the river course navigable during the construction stage, when building a large dam on the river course. In 16 years ago, when the Gezhouba Dam was built, the river course was unavailable for eight months. During the 17 years construction of Three Gorges Project, the Yangtze River didn't stop navigation for one day.

Three Gorges Project and Navigation – Changes of Yangtze River Navigation

After the Three Gorges Project completed, the Yangtze Cruise to Three Gorges must pass by five stage ship locks. It may cost about 3 hours to pass by the Three Gorges ship locks.

Although it need time to wait, it will give you other feelings for the shortened range. In the past, the Yangtze Cruise from Yichang to Chongqing needs 48 hours, and from Chongqing to Yichang needs 36 hours. After the Three Gorges Project completed, the flow rate becomes slower, and river course becomes wider, so the navigation speed greatly increased. The Yangtze Cruise from Yichang to Chongqing only need 36 hours and from Chongqing to Yichang only need 26 hours. Besides the time spend on passing by ship locks, the navigation time decrease about ten hours.

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