China hosts some of the world’s biggest structures like the Great Wall of China, the world’s largest sea bridge, the world’s biggest telescope, the world’s largest wholesale market, among many things. One of the most recent addition to this is China’s 3 Gorges Dam which spans 1.4 miles wide, 630 feet high. Experts even claim that the 3 Gorges Dam slows down the earth’s rotation by microseconds because of the amount of water it suppresses. Engineering expert Reddy Kancharla takes us through this amazing and unique megastructure.
The construction of the 3 Gorges dam began in 1994 and finished in 2009. An estimated $25 billion was spent by international companies, export credit agencies, as well as banks from Canada, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and France. Besides becoming a sustainable source for energy, the dam also serves as a vanguard for people living near the Yangtze river which is historically known for floods which have killed thousands of people and destroying millions of dollars’ worth of properties over the past few centuries.
While this dam generates about 22,400 megawatts of energy, the project had been plagued by controversies throughout its construction. According to reports, an estimated 1.3 to 1.9 million people have been displaced or forced to relocate. There were also unwanted environmental impacts which includes triggering landslides, altering ecosystems, and disrupting livelihoods along the river.
In spite of leading engineering knowledge and technology used to construct the 3 Gorges Dam, structures like this will always be tested by nature. Just last month, water levels rose to near catastrophic levels. Some people even think that the pressure from the river would soon lead to a major collapse. Reddy Kancharla believes that if such an event would occur, we would be looking at millions of lives affected, and billons worth of property damage is expected.
Reddy Kancharla is equipped with a comprehensive knowledge on engineering theories, principles, and practical solutions of engineering problems in civil engineering and the construction industry. He has more than 25 years of experience in projects involving civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC. Visit this website for more discussion reads on engineering.