The highly controversial monster project concerning the Three Gorges Dam is currently underway, due for completion in the year 2008. Until then, Gezhou Dam will remain as the biggest water conservation project along the Yangtze river. The huge Dam is located 2300m from Nanjing guan, the entrance to the three gorges, and people traveling along the Three Gorges either starting or ending their journey in Yichang, will pass through the Great Dam.
The process of passing the dam itself is a interesting experience. Since the water level on one side of the dam is 30m higher than that on the other side, the boat has to ascend to the other side of the dam to continue its voyage. This process is the same as a lock on a canal, where the boat sails into a space resembling a huge water tub, and, after the door to the tub is closed tightly and water is injected into the huge tub to raise the boat (or drained out to lower a boat traveling in the opposite direction). When the water level is in line with that on the higher side of the dam, another door on the high water side opens to allow the boat to sail out.
Most passengers enjoy watching this experience and the boat feels and looks something like a toy ship in the hands of a child in the bathtub during the whole process!