A redesigned bracket has been tested in The Netherlands by Hollandia, the Millennium wheel contractor, after the original design failed, delaying the lifting of the giant wheel by at least a month.
A temporary wheel rim assembly failed during the final test before the wheel was due to be put into place last Friday. The original design required a lateral pin and anchoring block on each lifting cable to be precisely aligned, with a split washer holding the bracket assembly in place.
But a slight misalignment during the test caused a lateral force to push out the washer, causing the entire anchoring block to come loose.
Tim Renwick, project director for the wheel, now known as the BA London Eye, said: `They are going to make a solid head assembly, welding the pin into position. That will make it more difficult for the whole thing to come apart.’
`While it is disappointing that this happened, it proves we were right to carry out the tests,’ he added.
The delay raised doubts over whether 135m-high wheel will be operational by the deadline of 31 December. Lifting may be delayed by high winds. And once the wheel is up, 32 gondolas, each seating 25 people, will have to be put in place.
Copyright: Centaur Communications Limited