YICHANG, Hubei Province, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Three Gorges Dam has "grown taller" as the height of a shiplift under construction at the dam is now taller than the dam itself.
Four concrete towers, which support the shiplift, topped 189 meters Monday -- four meters higher than the dam itself. Eventually, the towers will reach 195 meters. Pouring the concrete for the towers will be completed by the end of June.
The shiplift is not only the world's largest but also the most sophisticated, said Chen Fei, general manager of the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Development Corporation.
The vertical-hoisting "elevator" is designed to lift 15,500 tonnes 113 meters. It will help small and medium-sized vessels, with a dead weight under 3,000 tonnes, get across the dam. The shiplift will let smaller vessels avoid spending two hours passing through the dam's five locks, freeing up the locks for larger ships.
The entire shiplift will be completed in 2015.