Branson, Mo. (May 2, 2016) — On Jan. 29, The Track Family Fun Parks announced their purchase of Chicago’s Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. The week of Feb. 8-11, 26 semi-trucks brought the steel, gondolas, and other parts of the iconic Ferris wheel to Branson over a four-day span. With the mild winter weather, restoration began and crews started repainting all of the steel columns and spokes. The old lighting system has been removed and will be replaced with a new LED lighting system.
The foundation permit from the city was granted the last week of March. There are eight holes for piers 54 inches wide sunk at depths from 8 to 23 feet, depending on rock and soil conditions. Piers, pier caps, and tie beams making up the foundation for the wheel contain 250 yards of concrete and 40 tons of rebar.
A team of engineers and electricians from wheel manufacturer Dutch Wheels arrived from the Netherlands on Mon., Apr. 18 and have been doing prep work on the ground since arrival. The team will begin erecting the 75-foot-tall steel columns that will meet at the center hub on Wed, morning, Apr. 27. A substantial part of the wheel will be up by May 5, with the rest being completed and new lighting system installed in the weeks thereafter. Construction (tickets/restrooms/photos and walkways) will occur around the wheel during that time followed by landscaping, prior to the opening of the ride. The $4 million project is still on track for an early summer opening.
“Everything is going along really well,” said Craig Wescott, President and CEO of The Track Family Fun Parks. “Guests of The Track Family Fun Parks will be enjoying the iconic Ferris wheel as part of our company’s 35th anniversary.”
This Ferris wheel, which was modeled after the first Ferris wheel built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, stands 150 feet tall and can hold 240 passengers in its 40 gondolas. At night, the Ferris wheel shines with 16,000 lights, making it a beautiful addition to the Branson skyline. For more information about The Track Family Fun Parks, please visit their website at www.bransontracks.com or call (417) 334-1612.
About The Track Family Fun Parks
The Track Family Fun Parks started entertaining local and visiting families in 1981. The four Branson, Missouri locations offer high-rise and classic go-kart tracks for all ages, laser tag, bumper boats/cars, mini golf, batting cages, kids’ rides, arcades, and more with no gate admission charge. www.bransontracks.com
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: The Track Family Fun Parks