The World’s first Ferris Wheel was designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL in 1893 by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. Since then, the wheels have been a staple of many state fairs across the United States and many other places throughout the World. Much like tall buildings, the past few years has shown us that having the tallest Ferris Wheel is a strong source of pride for a city or country. The current record holder for tallest Ferris Wheel is the High Roller in Las Vegas, Nevada, topping out at 550ft and opened in March of 2014. The record won’t last much longer as there are two Ferris Wheels currently under construction that will be taller: the Dubai Eye and the New York Wheel. The Dubai Eye, which is getting very close to completion, is planned to reach a staggering 850 feet tall (260 meters) and the New York Wheel is expected to peak at 630 feet tall (192m). The original wheel designed by Ferris Jr. topped out at 264 ft (80.4m).
Though the New York Wheel may not be the tallest in the World once it’s complete thanks to the massive Dubai Eye, it will still hold the United States record until the next competitor shows up. At 630 feet, it will surely give tourists and New Yorkers some excellent views of the iconic city. It also gives all of us construction nerds a chance to get a detailed look inside the construction process. In the video below, by silive.com, you’ll be able to see a continuous pour of more than 4,000 cubic yards of concrete across roughly 420 trucks. In addition to the concrete, the foundation has over 900 tons of steel reinforcement bars carefully placed throughout. That gigantic foundation will be expected to withstand the weight of two legs, which each weigh 110 tons on top of the weight of the wheel and the 1,440 person capacity. This project is being carried out by Gilbane Building Company and is expected to be completed in 2017.
Record breaking or not, this an impressive attraction. Enjoy the video below:
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
Strange things are found on job sites across the globe all the time. We’ve shared plenty of stories in the past about the odd things construction workers have discovered, like human remains, 200,000 year old mammoth bones, ancient roman treasure, and more. When contractors dig in the dirt, there’s always a chance of uncovering history. Sometimes, though, the things found can be extremely dangerous.
In order to get the bad taste of last week’s botched demolition, in which an adjacent building also got destroyed in the process, we needed to share a highly successful one. Priestly Demolition, a Canadian demolition contractor, has been the subject of our articles in the past and the company has even won awards for the best demolition in the world.
While placing concrete on the second floor of a future seven-story mixed use building in Oakland, California, the concrete forms suddenly gave way, sending around 20 workers 10 to 15 feet below with the wet concrete. News reports explain the job site went into a panic, understandably so, and co-workers rushed to the scene to help.
Mistakes during demolitions happen. Sometimes contractors knock down the wrong buildings, other times the explosives used don’t knock the building over, and other demolitions are carried out with a complete lack of regard for human life. As fun as they are to perform and watch, they’re inherently dangerous and there should be a plan in place in case things go wrong.