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IRVINE, CA-The Irvine Co. has erected a 108-foot-high Ferris Wheel near a new Robinsons-May department store in the Irvine Spectrum Center, the company’s 880,000-sf retail development at the intersection of the San Diego (405) Freeway and the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Irvine.

The wheel, which lifts passengers above the Spectrum seven days a week for a $2 fare, can carry up to 140 riders and was installed by Irvine-based Snyder Langston, a commercial and industrial contractor, in conjunction with the opening of the new department store. The ride opens at 11 a.m. every day, taking on passengers until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The “Giant Wheel,” as it is called by the Irvine Co., was manufactured by Westech Limited in Casale di Scodosia, Italy. Snyder Langston also constructed the foundations, site improvements, and a small adjacent building for ticket sales and the ride operators.

Bob Rustad, superintendent for Snyder at the project, says that installing the ride required the use of two, 14.5-ton cranes, two 24-foot scissor lifts, one 40-foot-high fork lift and an 80-foot boom lift. The wheel is driven by four motors and features 12,500 red, white and blue lights.

Snyder Langston was general contractor for the project, leading a consulting team that included designer BAR Architects of San Francisco, Santa Monica-based structural engineering firms J.A. Martin and Associates and Kevin Kelly Inc., Levine/Seegel Associates of Santa Monica as electrical engineers, and Las Vegas-based Recreation Engineering as technical consultants.

The Irvine Spectrum Center opened in November 1995 and includes 240,000 sf of recently completed space that was built by Snyder Langston, which has been the primary general contractor for the center since its opening. The Spectrum center includes shops, restaurants, a 21-screen movie theater and other entertainment venues.

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