The Three Gorges Dam (simplified Chinese: 长江三峡大坝; traditional Chinese: 長江三峽大壩; pinyin: Chángjiāng Sānxiá Dàbà) is a hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, located in the Yiling District of Yichang, in Hubei province, China. It is the world's largest electricity-generating plant of any kind. Navigating the dam Ship locks for river traffic to bypass the Three Gorges Dam, May 2004  Locks The installation of ship locks is intended to increase river shipping from ten million to 100 million tonnes annually, with transportation costs cut by 30 to 37%. Shipping will become safer, since the gorges are notoriously dangerous to navigate. Each of the two ship locks is made up of five stages, with transit time at around four hours. Maximum vessel size is 10,000 tons. Critics[who?] argue, however, that siltation will clog ports such as Chongqing within a few years based on the evidence from other dam projects.[which?] The locks are 280 m long, 35 m wide, and 5 m deep (918 x 114 x 16.4 ft).
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Trackers on the Yangtse River, China, in 1930s. From an original photo by Donald Mennie (1899-1941) in a 1939 book.