Touring The World's Largest Public Works Project

The L.A. Times Magazine's editor tours China's Yangtze River to visit the Three Gorges Dam, now two-thirds complete.
March 22, 2004, 7am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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When the massive Three Gorges Dam is complete in 2009, it will provide electricity to 10% of China's population and provide a new, 1,500-mile shipping route along a formerly flood-prone route that has killed over 300,000 people since 1940. "Before long, this remote region will resemble other parts of contemporary China. But for now, it is a place of arresting and captivating contrasts. In a mere decade, the very old is being elbowed out by the very new in perhaps the most rapid modernization of a people in history. You can see it all from the deck of the luxurious ships that cruise the Yangtze. If you're willing to get your fingernails dirty, you can also touch, hear and smell it in villages and cities along the way... Depending on your point of view, the dam is either the electrical engine for a prosperous new China or the preposterous folly of a stubborn regime ignoring engineering realities." Editor's note: Access to this story may require free registration.

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Monday, October 24, 2005 in The Los Angeles Times
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