March 09, 2023 10:33
The Ferris wheel that is to become a new Seoul landmark will be built in Sangam-dong, northwestern Seoul, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said Wednesday.
The city unveiled an artist's impression of the Seoul Ring and said construction will begin in 2025 for completion by 2027.
The wheel will have a radical new design. Instead of a wheel turning on spokes around an axle, it will be a hollow tube that the cabins travel along on a gear fixed to the circumference.
Each pod will have a motor that will propel it along the ring in such a way that stays upright on the turn.
Thirty-six pods each capable of carrying 25 passengers will rotate at a speed of 0.25 m/s or about 30 minutes to make one revolution. That way the Seoul Ring will be able to handle up to 11,792 passengers a day.
At 180 m tall it will be the second tallest Ferris wheel in the world in height after Ain Dubai (250 m) and taller than the London Eye (135 m).
A city official said it will sit 96 m above sea level in Haneul Park, which is built on a landfill, so it actually offers a view of the Han River and Seoul from a height of 276 m.
Visitors will enter the landfill through a moving walkway and a transparent elevator. The city official said, "They'll get to see the layers of the landfill, and we intend to use the facility as an exhibition of the landfill’s history as well."
The structure will be anchored to pillars measuring 120 to 130 m and driven into the ground rather than fixed to the top of Haneul Park, so there is no fear of the ground subsiding, according to the official.
Self-driving buses will transport visitors to and from the landmark, and so will a new gondola from the nearest subway station.
The new landmark will cost W400 billion to build and the money will come from the private sector (US$1=W1,321). The city hopes for 3.5 million visitors a year.
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