Observation wheel on its way to National Harbor

The Capital Wheel will be located here once it arrives. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – A transformation to the National Harbor shoreline is on its way.

Weather willing, the Capital Wheel will arrive Tuesday afternoon.

The Capital Wheel is an observation wheel. While it looks similar to a Ferris wheel, it has climate-controlled gondolas instead of open carts.

“The Capital barge took off from the Port of Baltimore and embarked on its journey to National Harbor,” says Angela Sweeney, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Communications for The Peterson Companies, developer of the National Harbor.

“Once it arrives at National Harbor … you’ll be able to see the barge and the crane that sits on the barge and watch the construction as it progresses,” Sweeney says.

The wheel will be 175 feet tall and have 42 climate controlled gondolas. It’s expected to offer views of the Washington Monument, the White House and the National Mall as well as Arlington and Alexandria.

“The view from the approach into Reagan National should be pretty spectacular, particularly at night when it is all lit up,” Sweeney says.

Construction will begin immediately and the hope is that the wheel will be running in May.

“We anticipate it’s going to be around $15 for the ride, and the ride should last between 15 and 20 minutes,” says Sweeney.

The wheel’s trip and progress can be followed on Twitter and Facebook. The barge and tug boat, the Rising Sun, can also be tracked online as it makes its way up the Potomac river.

Sweeney says last year was good for National Harbor, with the opening of Tanger Outlets, the announcement that MGM won their bid to build a Casino there and the announcement of the Capital Wheel.

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