In case you missed it, Navy Pier has announced plans to install a brand new Ferris wheel. Although initial plans called for a wheel reaching 300 feet high, Mayor Rah Emanuel has made it official that Navy Pier Inc. will put in a new 196-foot wheel before May 2016, just in time for the pier’s centennial birthday.
The cost of the new Navy Pier Ferris Wheel is expected to be around $26.5 million, which will include construction and landscaping. And although that sounds like a lot—and it certainly is—the new wheel will feature 42 encapsulated gondolas that hold up to 10 passengers, padded seats, TV screens and speakers, heat and air conditioning, and will be quite a bit faster—allowing for riders to make three full rotations instead of just one.
Because of the climate controlled gondolas, riders will also be able to enjoy the new Ferris Wheel year-round, something you visitors to the pier can’t do as of now. Sponsors for the new Ferris Wheel are currently in the works, but reports are showing Navy Pier has secured private financing from a Fifth Third Bank loan to fund the project.
For anyone looking to enjoy one last ride on the current wheel, plan on making your way over to Navy Pier before the end of September.