Thursday

Las Vegas High Roller

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EFP-P1060287
(Fig. 01)
Las Vegas is now home to the High Roller (Fig. 01), the highest Ferris wheel in the world. With a diameter of 520 feet and a height of 550 feet at the apex (Fig. 02), it is 9 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, which held the record since its opening in 2008. Located across from Caesars Palace in the heart of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard, it is the focal point of the Linq, a $550-million dollar outdoor retail, dining and entertainment plaza.
                       
EFP-P1060286
(Fig. 02)
The wheel is supported by two pairs of 285 foot-long, 9 foot diameter canted legs and a 330 foot-long, 52˚ transverse brace leg (Fig. 03). The legs are anchored by three concrete plinths set atop pile caps and tied together by grade beams over 32 drilled shafts. The 2.5-in.-thick plate-rolled support legs contain 13 tuned mass dampers that counteract structural vibration. The wheel is designed to withstand a seismic event.
                 
EFP-P1070324
(Fig. 03)
Together, the legs support a 546-ton hub assembly (Fig. 04) that rotates using two custom-designed 7.55-foot diameter spherical roller bearings on either end of an internal spindle. Inside its hub (Fig. 05), the wheel rotates on a pair of custom-designed spherical roller bearings, each weighing approximately 19,400 lbs. Each bearing has an outer diameter of 7.55 feet and a width of 2.07 feet. The outer rim comprises 28 sections, each 56 feet long permanently secured by four cables. The spindle transfers the wheel weight through the legs, while the hub connects to a single element rim using 25,256 feet of tensioned cable.
                     
EFP-P1070320
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1060289
(Fig. 05)
Each of the 225-square-foot, 22 foot diameter passenger cabins (or capsules) (Figs. 06 & 07), weighs 44,000 pounds and has a capacity of 40 persons. Attached at three places to the rim using double-V frames, the cabins are mounted on the wheel's outboard rim and are individually rotated by electric motors to smoothly maintain a horizontal cabin floor throughout each full rotation. Each 22-foot diameter cabin is encased with 300 square feet of doubly curved 360-degree glass, and is equipped with eight flat-screen televisions and an iPod dock (Fig. 08). The 5,000-ton wheel moves at a rate of 1 foot per second. Powered by eight hydraulic drive motors; it's designed to operate 18 hours a day for 50 years, or roughly 657,450 full rotations. The High Roller has a slim profile with a 6.6-foot-wide rim that maximizes passenger views while creating an unobstructed, eye-grabbing sleek aesthetic look. Total capacity is 1,120 passengers.
                
The pictures in (Figs. 09 thru 12) are some of the views we had during our 30-minute plus ride.
               
EFP-P1070298
(Fig. 06) 
EFP-P1070297
(Fig. 07)
EFP-P1070322
(Fig. 08)
EFP-P1070314-P1070315
(Fig. 09)
EFP-P1070312
(Fig. 10)
EFP-P1070318
(Fig. 11)
EFP-P1070305
(Fig. 12)