Construction update: Wheel work begins on Orlando Eye at I-Drive 360
It may not be the tallest attraction planned for International Drive, but The Orlando Eye certainly will be the first to give thrill-seekers a chance to check out a bird’s-eye view of the tourist corridor.
Mansfield, Ohio-based contractor AdenaCorp. last week completed what’s considered a construction milestone for the 434-foot Orlando Eye observation wheel at the $200 million I-Drive 360 entertainment complex being built: Putting the 80,000-pound wheel hub in place.
The hub, which spins around and holds the wheel spokes in place, was placed atop the 200-foot foundation for the observation wheel. Media weren’t invited to view the event because of safety concerns involved in installing this heavy-duty piece. But check out the slideshow of construction photos provided by attraction operator Merlin Entertainments Group Plc., along with the video explaining the process.
Once the spokes are installed, soon after we’ll start to see the gondolas that will hold passengers on their trip above I-Drive.
The Orlando Eye and its sister attractions, Madame Tussauds Orlando wax museum and Sea Life Orlando aquarium, could debut by March 2015, bringing 300 jobs to the region.
About a year after The Orlando Eye debuts, it will be joined by the 570-foot-tall Skyscraper at the $200 million, nearly 500,000-square-foot Skyplex proposed on the northeast corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road. That project is set to bring more than 500 jobs to the region.