Construction of the New York Wheel on Staten Island is well underway, but the project also is bringing new activity to the Brooklyn waterfront. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
Wondering what it takes to build a 630-foot observation wheel? A lot of heavy machinery.
A crane is now sitting, in parts, at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. In just a few short weeks, it'll be delivered to Staten Island's north shore, and assembled to a height of 465 feet, to help build the world's tallest observation wheel.
"I'm pretty much in awe everyday of how big this is," said Rich Marin of the New York Wheel.
The South Brooklyn terminal has been mostly vacant for more than a decade, but the crane's delivery last month marked the first of many shipments for the wheel project.
The wheel’s developers have signed an agreement to use the terminal for as long as construction takes, at least the next two years.
"We're able to help Brooklyn in terms of a long-dormant facility that's now getting active marine utilization, with all our ships coming in over there," Marin said.
The wheel parts and equipment are being built around the world and will be shipped to the marine terminal, where they will be stored until the Staten Island site is ready for them. They'll be delivered using a temporary jetty.
Since a so-called "big pour" of concrete took place earlier this summer, construction has accelerated. And while officials with the wheel say the project is on track to be completed by the end of next year, it likely won't open then.
"There's a lot of testing and commissioning work that has to be done, so we probably won't have our grand opening until the beginning of 18," Marin said.
They may not look like much now, but fenced-off sections mark the spots where the wheel's legs will eventually rise.
"There's about a whole building's worth of steel below each of those legs because of all of structure that's in the foundation," Marin said.
The legs are expected to arrive in October, and the body of the wheel is expected to rise early next year. Meanwhile, the long-awaited parking garage is expected to open sometime this month.