ATLANTIC CITY — Work on the observation wheel at Steel Pier completed a “significant milestone” with the first pour for the foundation this week, operators say.

The $14 million, 227-foot wheel, the third tallest in the country, is expected to be ready in July, said Anthony Catanoso, Steel Pier’s president.

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The state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has given the pier loans of about $7 million toward the project, he said.

Catanoso has said the Pier hopes to have the wheel open by Memorial Day.

The wheel, which was purchased in Italy, is expected to draw 50,000 riders per month to the take in views of the ocean and Atlantic City skyline from climate-controlled gondolas, according to a statement issued this week by Steel Pier.

“We poured the other day a new foundation for the wheel, but also one for Atlantic City,” said Catanoso, also principal in DOMEINAC LLC, which will operate the wheel. “This observation wheel is truly a metaphor for how far we can go when it comes to building nongaming venues in Atlantic City.”

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