BigPic: Building The World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel

Staten Island's New York Wheel differs from the usual design of supertall observation wheels.

When it’s finished, the New York Wheel will stand 625 feet above Staten Island, making it the tallest observation wheel in the world. It will depart from the design of other supertall observation wheels in several key ways. The 541-foot Singapore Flyer and the 443-foot London Eye, for example, are held in place by stability cables that run from their spindles to the earth. But to fit the New York Wheel on its narrow site, engineers will give it vertically oriented 320-foot-long legs anchored to the ground. For weatherproofing, engineers moved motion-control hardware from outside to inside the passenger capsules. (This will also make repairs much easier.) Construction of the $250-million project begins on-site next year. If all goes well, in 2016, passengers onboard will experience a 38-minute ride with views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan (and Staten Island, too).