No Ferris wheel for downtown Atlanta by the Fourth

The giant Ferris wheel planned to go up near Centennial Olympic Park won’t be ready in time for July 4 as planned.

SkyView Atlanta’s opening will be pushed from July 2 to sometime in the second or third week of July, spokesman Jason Evans said. [Update: It opened to riders on July 16.]

Construction crews discovered a bank of Georgia Power electrical ducts that could not be moved and had to be built around, authorities said.

“All the power going into the Tabernacle (concert venue) is running through those ducts,” said Jason Bartley, superintendent for Civil Site Services Inc., the contractor working on placing the SkyView Atlanta attraction.

The 200-foot wheel will be anchored by six concrete pads, one of which was to be placed atop the space where the electrical ducts were discovered, Bartley said.

“As a result, we had to elevate SkyView Atlanta over the duct,” Evans said, noting the attraction will be elevated by 1 foot. “That 1 foot of extra height required us to bring in 400,000 extra pounds of stone and 120,000 extra pounds of concrete.”

Construction crews scrambled Wednesday to ready the parking lot adjacent to the Tabernacle for the stand-alone ride, with five wooden frames erected as high as 4 feet off the ground with metal rebar protruding from wet cement drying inside.

Missing is the concrete where the sixth pad — closest to the transformers leading power into the Tabernacle — is to be lifted the additional foot above the buried electrical wiring.

Anticipation for SkyView Atlanta’s open exists because the jobs promised with the attraction are also on hold, Evans said.

“They’ve hired everyone that they need to move in place,” he said of the initial 50 positions that were filled to get SkyView running. “My bet would be that those jobs would be pushed back by a week to 10 days.”

The attraction originally operated in Paris, across from the Louvre art museum before being moved to Bern, Switzerland, then to the United States.

Evans said it was moved to Pensacola, Fla., to test the U.S. market before looking to Houston, Atlanta or Miami as a permanent home.

“Pensacola was always temporary,” he said.

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