NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 13, 2022) – Work to restore the Ferris wheel at Tuscora Park and bring it into compliance with the state’s strengthened ride safety standards is nearing completion.
RTY board member Greg Rees has been overseeing the project, which he describes as almost a complete redo of the nearly 100-year-old ride.
“The outside of the Ferris wheel is all new material. The struts in the middle are the existing material and the main structure is, but all that has been blasted, inspected, repairs made, and then coated with an industrial paint that’s going to last years and years and years.”
RTY received close to $248,000 in grants and donations for the work including money from The Rainbow Connection to make the ride more accessible.
“So this will have ramps as opposed to steps to get on to load. It will have two gondolas made from scratch that you can push a wheelchair in, turn around and the individual could share in the experience without being unloaded from a wheelchair and sat in the gondola.”
The fundraising total is in addition to in-kind donations of parts and labor from Dover Hydraulics, RJ Cylinder, and Gradall.
“Gradall company including the president of the company came out and helped us rebuild the complete drive system. So the drive system was torn down, taken over to Gradall. Parts were bought new, replaced, or sent in to be rebuilt so we essentially have a whole new drive system on our 100-year-old Ferris wheel.”
Rees says there’s still some work to do before the Ferris Wheel is ready for its final inspection including installing its new drive wheels and powder coating the remaining gondolas. He says if all goes well, it should be turning again for Memorial Day Weekend.