Construction Dispute Halts Work On Giant Staten Island Ferris Wheel

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Progress on the giant Ferris wheel on Staten Island has come to a stop.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the New York Wheel was supposed to be the biggest in the world and draw people from all over to the north Shore. Last year, Rich Marin – head of New York Wheel LLC – said $300 million worth of work was already in the ground.

“We have a tremendous foundation in place now – bigger than most skyscrapers would have underneath them,” Marin said last year.

But the developer now says the contractor responsible for designing and building the wheel – Netherlands-based Mammoet-Starneth – has been fired over failing to meet “multiple design and construction deadlines.”

According to published reports, the developer claims that the delays have cost as much as $36 million. But the contractor blames the New York Wheel for failing to make required payments to them.

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo is a supporter of the project.

“They will go out, they will find another entity to build it – and so while I can’t speak in absolute terms, I still believe the project gets done,” Oddo said.

But no one can say when.

“I read body language for a living, and I think they are even more committed today then they were just a few weeks ago,” Oddo said.

For now, the wheel’s 2,200-ton legs sit in Brooklyn waiting to be installed across the harbor.

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