A longtime project that has been millions of dollars in the making will bring a giant Ferris wheel to Seattle’s waterfront in time for the summer crowds.
The wheel will be 175 feet in diameter and 200 feet high and weighs 280,330 pounds when empty and about 334,900 pounds with passengers.
“It’s going to be amazing to watch. It’s going to be a really unique experience to watch. It’s going to come up like a spider, eight legs coming up the main sprocket with 42 gondolas. It’s going to be interesting and really nice,” said Johnston.
The gondolas, which hold six people, will be heated and air conditioned, and part of the ride will spin over Elliott Bay.
The man behind the dream, Hal Griffith, said with the viaduct coming down, a tunnel coming in and all the construction that comes along with the projects, he thought something needed to be done to keep people coming to the waterfront.
“We were real concerned that if we didn’t have something strong enough to bring people down here that all the businesses on the waterfront would suffer and may even go out of business, so this project is not only ours, but it’s for the community,” said Griffith.
Griffith said he has wanted to build the wheel for 30 years, but city approval and permitting never worked out, until he and his sons thought of building it on Pier 57, which Griffith owns.
"We are adding to the skyline and that’ll make Seattle greater than it is now," said Griffith.
The plan is to have it up and running, at about $12 a ride, by the Fourth of July.