The first ride won’t happen now for almost two years
New Yorkers will have to wait just a little bit longer to take in the sight of the city by Ferris wheel, because the grand opening of Staten Island’s 630-foot-high tourist attraction has once again been delayed.
The New York Wheel—which, when completed, will be the tallest in the world—was initially set to open for the 2017 season, but the Staten Island Advance says the wheel is now slated to take its inaugural spin in April, 2018.
“Big, trend-setting projects like the New York Wheel are generally challenging to schedule,” said the Wheel’s CEO, Rich Marin, in a statement reported by DNA Info. “The most important thing is to be sure that all the things get done properly and that quality and safety are maintained.”
It has been a bumpy ride for the Wheel, which has faced a number of issues since the project was first announced back in 2012: delays getting City Council approval (and, accordingly, construction delays), financial woes, and a lawsuit between developers over the alleged mismanagement of funds.
But the $580 million project is nonetheless coming along. In June, construction workers poured the Wheel’s foundation (all 7,000 tons of it), and Marin promises that by the end of 2017, people will see a wheel that looks “structurally like the wheel they have seen in the renderings.” After a few months of safety testing, it will open to riders—just in time for the 2018 season. That’s the plan, anyway.