Big wheel coming to the Bund

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 July, 2003, 12:00am

Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has been picked from a field of three to build the world's largest Ferris wheel in Shanghai.

It will have a diameter of 170 metres, while the entire structure will be 200 metres high and will provide a viewing platform for both sides of the Huangpu river.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest observation wheel is the British Airways 'London Eye', which has a height and diameter of 135 metres. The wheel, which can carry 800 passengers at a time, started operating in 2000.

Shanghai's wheel will have 36 cars, each capable of seating 25 to 30 people, for a total capacity of more than 900 passengers. It will take 30 minutes for the wheel to complete one revolution.

An official of a local government working group overseeing the renovation of areas along the Huangpu river said: 'This will be a unique feature of the renovation of the north Bund district.'

The start of construction was still some time off, despite the decision on the preliminary design, he said, but declined to give a date.

Shanghai is trying to increase the number of tourism attractions in the city to draw more visitors. Last year, the city had about 2.7 million overseas visitors and 88 million domestic tourists.

The project is one of six planned to rejuvenate what the city calls the northern Bund across from the premier Pudong development zone.