Pier 57 Gets Concrete Shoes in Prep for New Ferris Wheel
Last November, Hal Griffith & Associates secured approval from the city to begin construction on a waterfront Ferris wheel at Pier 57, and now the company has begun pouring the concrete footing that will hold the ride up–about 550 tons, says KIRO 7. (Here’s an artist’s rendition of the finished Ferris product.)
Three cement pours will be necessary, says KING 5, with the cement trucks “piping” the slurry out to the end of the pier, which otherwise couldn’t support their weight. You’ll begin seeing the 175-foot diameter wheel going up in April, with construction finishing in time for summer, by June. HG&A are determined to have it up and running for the July 4 weekend.
“It’s going to come up like a spider, eight legs coming up the main sprocket with 42 gondolas,” KIRO quotes project foreman Simon Johnston saying. That’s right, gondolas. I know some of you were stifling a snort at the association of June and summer in Seattle, but with gondolas, which can be heated or air conditioned, it doesn’t really matter what it’s doing outside.
Sitting at the end of the pier, the Ferris wheel will rotate its gondolas over the water, and one VIP gondola will come with a glass bottom. The price of the ride is supposed to be $12. (In comparison, it’s $19 per adult to get to the observation deck of the Space Needle.)
Look for a lot more Flickr photographs geotagged with Pier 57′s coordinates comes June 2012. It ought to provide a great vantage point for when the Viaduct comes down, which is the point, after all, of its existence: to help draw visitors to the waterfront during the Viaduct demolition and associated construction.
Niagara’s Skywheel is the same size (175-foot diameter, 42 gondolas), so here’s a sort of preview of what the experience will be like, except for the lack of the Falls in the distance.