Crews moving massive Ferris wheel's base into place



SEATTLE - There was big progress on Tuesday for the giant Ferris wheel being built along the Seattle waterfront and some big challenges, too.


The weather proved troublesome for crews as the biggest pieces of the Seattle Great Wheel arrived at Pier 57.


The wind was whipping Tuesday morning at Miner's Landing, so when crews tried to get a 7-ton piece of steel into the right place, it was tough.


“If it does prove to be a little bit hazardous to us, we’ll definitely stop work,” said project manager Simon Johnston.


Johnston watched as the very first piece of one of the Ferris wheel's legs was offloaded.  The crew quickly realized even the chop from the ferries was causing somewhat of a problem for the giant floating crane.


“They kick off a bigger swell than these wind chops you see now, so those are something we need to time,” said Johnston.


Watching intently as well was Kyle Griffith, who along with his father and brother, Troy, oversees the project.


Troy even took video as the first leg was fitted together, almost like a giant Lego -- neither brother downplaying the significance of this day.


“We hopefully will have them all standing up and they’ll be like an A-frame, kind of a big swing set,” said Griffith.


Griffith said the finished wheel will have an elegant look and millions of LED lights that can change color at the switch of a button.


“When there’s sporting events going on, it’s going to be fun to, you know, put up purple and gold for the Huskies or Seahawks or any game that’s in town,” said Griffith.


The project manager said they may ask for a marine vessel slowdown Thursday when the crew erects the "legs" since the forecast is looking unsettled.