What's claimed to be the world's largest observation wheel is set to open in New York in 2018. The aptly-named New York Wheel was due to open next year, but the scale of the project has required that the launch date be pushed back. When it does open, visitors will be able to take in views out across New York Bay.

"Big, trend-setting projects like the New York Wheel are generally challenging to schedule," explains New York Wheel CEO Rich Marin in a statement. "The most important thing is to be sure that all the things get done properly and that quality and safety are maintained. Accordingly, we have shifted back the opening date of the wheel to early 2018."

Martin goes on to say that the wheel itself will be largely complete by the end of next year, but that a great deal of testing and commissioning must subsequently be conducted.

Once construction work, which began last year, is complete, the wheel will rise 630 ft (192 m) into the air, dwarfing what the New York Wheel company believes are its closest competitors – the Las Vegas High Roller, at 550 ft (168 m), and the Singapore Flyer, at 541 ft (165 m). It will be held together by a large A-frame, 144 steel cables and a 1,728-ft (527-m) circumference rim.

There will be 36 capsules, including three bar capsules and a dining capsule, each weighing 30 tons (27 tonnes) and able to accommodate 40 people. They will be climate controlled and fitted with AV, Wi-Fi and security monitoring facilities.

The wheel is expected to turn at a rate of 10 in (25 cm) each second, with the ability to speed up or slow down if required. A full rotation will take about 38 minutes, and with no mention of in-capsule toilet facilities that may well be a long time to wait for passengers at the bars.

Also part of the development will be a 68,000-sq ft (6,317-sq m) terminal building, where passengers will board the wheel capsules. The building will also offer merchandise sales, food and drink and a secondary attraction. Outside, there will be an amphitheater, a beer garden and a children's playground.

A parking lot will provide space for around 950 cars and a dozen buses. it will be topped with a 5-ac (2-ha) green roof that will be used for hosting events like community programming, concerts, festivals and private functions for up to 5,000 people.

The New York Wheel is being built on Staten Island, a short walk from Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

The video below provides an introduction to the New York Wheel.

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