Great news from New York City's Staten Island today…which, after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, could certainly use a bit of New Year's cheer: The borough is still on track to get the world's largest Ferris Wheel, according to city website Gothamist. When it is in place, the wheel is expected to tower 625 feet in the air.
But, the story notes, the storm did inspire some changes to the design, including the elevation of the electrical and mechanical equipment in case of future flooding. The total project is expected to cost at least $500 million, and will compete for attention with similar wheels in London and Las Vegas. (For the record, Las Vegas is getting two competing wheels on the Strip, and the London Eye has become an icon of the city. Time will tell if the New York wheel will become equally symbolic for the Big Apple, but it's location away from the current tourism hotspots may present a challenge.)
Still, the $500 million project is going forward with little changes to its plan—though some will be raised up in case of another giant storm. New York Wheel LLC is currently looking for a sponsorship (they expect to have one by April), mulling how to light the giant circle (without upsetting the locals), and are desperately trying to break ground (in case the next mayor doesn't support the project).