Replacing Chicago’s Iconic Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Posted by Jared Brewe on July 3, 2017
Chicago Ferris Wheel Construction

On 27 May 2016, Chicago’s Navy Pier unveiled the new Centennial Wheel to commemorate its 100th anniversary. Removing an existing Ferris wheel and replacing it with a larger one located on top of a structure above Lake Michigan was not a standard engineering project and required teamwork and analysis from the entire project team. 

I recently coauthored an article in STRUCTURE magazine discussing the engineering challenges that were overcome on the project. In the article, John Sheridan of James McHugh Construction, Ken Maschke of Thornton Tomasetti, and I explain several unique aspects of the project involving the Ferris wheel selection, structural design, and construction. 

Read the article. 
Read more about the project.


Jared Brewe applies analytical knowledge to investigate existing structures, design repairs and strengthening for deficient and deteriorated structures, evaluate the effect of design and construction errors on structural performance, and determine cause of structural failures. He is a member of numerous American Concrete Institute (ACI), Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), and Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI) committees and a frequent speaker at industry events.

Categories: Experience