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Southern Star Wheel gets too hot

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This article appeared on news.com. It seems the wheel can't handle the heat!! "THE operators of Melbourne's crippled giant observation wheel say they may have to wait until the end of the week before they know when it will start turning again. The giant Southern Star ferris wheel was shut down last Friday after Melbourne's three-day heatwave caused buckling in a bracing member and cracking in one of the steel tubes that hold up the wheel. Engineers from Japan are inspecting the 120-metre-tall wheel and assessing what repair work needs to be done. The chairman of the Southern Star Management Group, Fred Maybury, said the wheel, which cost $100 million and only opened on December 20, was under warranty and all work would be carried out at no charge. “The excessive heat we've had in Melbourne caused one of the members to buckle and that's created some cracking in the bracing structure up towards the hub,” he told AAP. ”There's nothing in danger of falling off but it's something we want to rectify and make sure it doesn't happen in the future.” He said the cost of repairs was not an issue because of the warranty. ”The suppliers are working with us so (cost) isn't an issue,” Mr Maybury said. ”It's more of an issue of the down time and the inconvenience.'' He said it was disappointing for Melbourne's newest sightseeing attraction to be out of action so soon after opening. ”Here we are with a brand new major tourist attraction and we've encountered this problem which became apparent during the excessive heat - it's extremely disappointing.”

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Interesting article.... this afternoon's report on the Sydney Morning Herald website had a bit more negative tone.... Saying things like "remain closed indefinitely" sounds a little more pessimistic than "wait until the end of the week before they know when it will start turning again"

Melbourne's big wheel has stopped turning after heat caused the Southern Star to buckle and crack last week. The $100 million giant ferris wheel will remain closed indefinitely after shutting down on Friday as the company awaits a report into damage caused by last week's record heatwave. Southern Star Management Group chairman Fred Maybury told Radio 3AW some metal had buckled and cracked and he expected a report today into how to fix the 120-metre tall wheel. Big wheel in big trouble Southern Star wheel buckled and cracked during heatwave, chairman Fred Maybury tells 3AW radio's Neil Mitchell. "Until I get that report I can't answer the question," he said when asked when the wheel would reopen. Mr Maybury said the company had sought international advice on how to fix the tourist attraction and why it had succumbed to "excessive heat" so patrons would feel safe riding the wheel. "We're certainly taking it as serious because we want the wheel to be fully operational and successful so we want to know why this has happened," he said. He said he was "extremely disappointed" to have to shut the wheel just over a month after its opening at Waterfront City.
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  • 2 months later...

The fiasco continues, they are dismantling the whole wheel up to the hub, replacing the rim and spokes. Apparently it is covered under warranty, but still....damn. Repairs are expected to take at least a year: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,2...69-2862,00.html Crazy to think one of the first articles published back on R-C was on this thing supposedly being open by 2006.

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  • 2 years later...

More problems for the wheel...

Workers flee as Southern Star spins WORKERS fled the construction site below Melbourne's Southern Star Observation Wheel as it broke free from its moorings and began spinning. The wheel started spinning about 11.10pm (AEDT) on Monday, showering the site below with bolts. One employee was injured when he fell while fleeing the site. WorkSafe believes the wheel began spinning when strong winds broke the winching arms holding the giant structure in place. The Southern Star closed in January 2009 after a three-day heatwave caused buckling in a bracing member and cracks in one of the steel tubes supporting the wheel. Southern Star Management said in a statement the latest incident had not damaged the wheel. "Engineers have attended the site and confirm there is no issue of safety or consequence to the permanent structure." "All temporary connection points and bolts will be checked before winching and erection resumes."

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