It took 40,000 workers 17 years to complete the Three Gorges Dam in China.
This videotape lasts about 45 minutes, but is very interesting if you can spend the time.
The primary purpose of the Dam was to tame the violent Yangtse River, which every decade or so would flood and demolish whole villages and drown thousands of villagers.
The secondary purpose of the dam was to generate hydroelectric power. Today, when all of the generators are brought online, the Three Gorges Dam will generate more hydroelectric power than any other similar plant in the world.