Wheel spins towards completion
* This article was published 10 years ago
As construction continues on the Southern Star Observation Wheel, the Docklands precinct can start preparing for an eyecatching launch and dazzling light show to announce the emergence of a major tourist attraction for Melbourne.
Adverse weather, an extremely complex construction and demanding occupational health and safety restrictions continue to make it difficult for the manufacturer to provide an exact opening date for an expectant Docklands community.
But it will occur – representing a valuable part of the Waterfront City development project comprising a range of retail, leisure, entertainment, residential and commercial assets. Th e Southern Star comprises the largest single investment in a tourism attraction in Australia for 20 years and is expected to inject tremendous impetus into the entire Docklands precinct.
After operating for an initial period, a routine inspection exposed a structural design flaw which could have led, over time, to performance issues.
Following a comprehensive design review led by the manufacturer Sanoyas Rides Corporation, in consultation with a group of national and international engineering experts, it was decided that the Southern Star should be redesigned and rebuilt under the existing manufacturer’s warranty.
It will incorporate one of the largest linear LED lighting installations in the world. More than 3 kilometres of tubing will be capable of creating over 15 million diff erent light combinations, which can also be synchronised to music.
Just to be in Docklands to watch the light show will be an unforgettable experience.
An onsite incident in November 2011 required the method of winching and rotation of the Southern Star to be reviewed and resulted in a revised work method procedure being implemented. Th e new methodology was used in the installation of the fourth large section of the outer rim in June and is being used currently in the installation of the final three large outer rim sections.
The positioning of the 21 air-conditioned glass viewing cabins will follow the completion of the outer rim. •