SkyVue: Things Are Happening, You Just Can't See Them.. Yet
Stay tuned. That's essentially the message from the folks at SkyVue Super Wheel after we reported on a seemingly stalled construction site across from Mandalay Bay. There's not been activity in a while. But, SkyVue sees dormant where we see dead.
We are not the only ones who see what's happening at The Linq's High Roller observation wheel site and what doesn't seem to be happening at SkyVue. Things that would naturally make anyone go hmmmm. Representatives, though, say it's two different types of wheels and that's why things are progressing differently. Here's how they explain it:
High Roller is a cable wheel, while SkyVue is a steel wheel. This is a major difference that results in a totally opposite approach to construction. The reason SkyVue will be a steel wheel is because it needs to have a major support system to host the 50,000-square-foot LED screens (largest in the world) that will be located on either side of the wheel. In addition to the view, the LED screens are a huge differentiator for SkyVue from any other wheel in existence.
Steel Wheel Construction: A standard steel wheel is constructed in multiple segments from the inside out. They start in the center and build almost like a steel spider web until they reach the outer edge of the wheel.
Cable Wheel Construction: They start with a center hub and attach cables to it. They have to build a structure to hold the cables to the outer rim.
We've always been a visual person so here's the two, side by side, once again:
Here's the construction that's been documented recently at SkyVue:
And, at The High Roller:
Additionally, SkyVue reports that construction isn't happening on the site because it's happening in another state. And, in another country. They expect ginormous bits and pieces to start arriving this quarter "with all parts on-site by May/June 2013." If you want to know exactly what is happening where, here's the rundown:
·Germany: Schaeffler is the German manufacturer of the wheel bearings. The bearing is 12’-0” in diameter and weighs approximately 26,400 lbs. We expect components to be ready for shipment from Schaeffler/FAG in Germany in early January 2013 with a 4-6 week travel trip via ocean freight before they arrive at LARON Industries machine facility Kingman, AZ.
Electrical commutator rings are being manufactured in Germany by Conductix-Womfler and will provide electrical power to the rotating wheel. Laid end to end, the copper commutator rings are three miles long.
·Arizona: LARON Industries, a heavy industrial machine and fabrication facility in Kingman, Arizona, is fabricating the yokes and main wheel axle. After receipt of the bearing from Schaeffler, LARON will commence with the final machining and installation of the main wheel axle. Bearing seals and the axle lubrication system will be installed as part of the final steps to complete the main wheel axle.
From there, SkyVue states things will start ramping up in Vegas:
· Concrete columns height has reached 247’-0”. Two more concrete pours are required to complete the columns. The yokes, which serve, as bearing seats for the main wheel axle, will be placed as part of the final concrete column pour.
· When the main wheel axle assembly is completed by LARON in Kingman, AZ. it will be transported to Las Vegas in two separate trailers. Each transport trailer will have 80 tires with a heavy hauler tractor in the front and rear of the transport unit. It will take approximately two days to bring the 350,000-pound units over the road to Las Vegas. The transporting trucks will be too heavy to cross local bridges, and therefore will be delivered via I-40 to Barstow and I-15 to Las Vegas, a 400-mile trip.
· After the main wheel axle arrives at the project site, electrical commutator rings will be installed.
· After the electrical commentator rings are installed, a large Manitowoc #2250 crane will hoist the 350-ton main wheel axle to the top of the concrete columns. After the main wheel axle is set, installation of wheel structural steel will begin.
· A majority of all construction activities revolve around the off-site fabrication of the main wheel axle by LARON Industries, in Kingman, Arizona. As a result, there will be minimal site activity until the main wheel axle arrives after the New Year.
So there you have it. A blueprint to creating and erecting an oversized observation wheel. But, will it go from words on a screen to reality? Now that we know what to look for, we'll continue watching. This time with an eye to the calendar. As always, we'll keep you up to date.