Drivers on the Loop 101 freeway may have noticed the major construction occurring off of the Via de Ventura exit in Scottsdale. Most recently, the development of OdySea Aquarium has included the erection of the building’s massive 60 ft. walls.

Construction is progressing quickly to meet the grand opening, planned for July 2016.

McCarthy Building Companies began construction in March, and on Sept. 11, a total of 68 walls were hoisted up — with heights ranging from 51’-10” to 60′-10” for the main building, and a total of 1,275 feet in diameter, according to a press release.

The weight of the panels ranged from 151,000 pounds to 224,500 pounds, and required a 300-ton, 150-foot-tall crane to erect them, stated the release.

Additional construction development includes cast placements for the concrete tanks that will be combined with 5,455 square feet for over 2,000 acrylic viewing window panels that will provide visitors with insight into 50 exhibits.  Each individual 44-foot-tall window will require a 200-ton crane to hoist and gently place them into the concrete tanks, the release stated.

OdySea Aquarium

This month will also begin the installation of the Life Support Systems that includes more 300 pumps and more than 42,000 lineal feet of piping to construct the revolutionary design of this impressive facility.

“Building the OdySea Aquarium goes far beyond any standard aquarium. From the story behind the innovative design, to the erecting of the enormous walls and plans for sustaining the marine life, the depth of this project is unimaginable,” stated Amram Knishinsky, Ph.D. and principal founder, in the release.

While the placement of the walls is truly an exciting point of progress, the finished facility promises to even more astounding — with endless journeys into the fascinating underwater world. Poised to be one of Arizona’s premier attractions, OdySea is expected to be an oceanic educational adventure like no other in the industry, according to the release.

The 16-acre attraction, designed to accommodate up to 15,000 visitors daily, will be a two-level facility that will span more than 200,000 square feet and will host marine life tank exhibits throughout. Among the facility’s unparalleled planned features is the SeaTREK experience that allows guests to descend deep into the “ocean,” where they will be surrounded by sea creatures on all sides.

Even the restrooms will have floor-to-ceiling windows for aquatic life views so guests won’t miss a thing when they need to take a break, stated the release.

Plans also include a state-of-the-art 3D theater and acrylic underwater walkways for visitors to embark on a journey exploring all areas of marine life — from the bayous and coral reefs to deep abysses of fresh water and salt water, the release stated. The exhibits will include the Rivers of the World, American Rivers, Amazon Rivers, Shores, Penguins, the Great Barrier Reef, and “the Bizarre & the Beautiful,” including jellyfish, octopus, large king crabs and seahorses.

Educational media boards placed throughout the facility will provide hands-on experiences, illuminated world maps, and sounds from different regions all over the globe. The OdySea Aquarium will also include a Lighthouse Café and an OdySea Treasures Gift Shop.