Giant gator to float during Art Basel

275-foot 'Gator in the Bay' will float through Biscayne Bay

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - I giant 230 foot long alligator head will begin floating through South Florida waters, as part of an Art Basel exhibit.

The "Gator In The Bay" will be launched on the New River in Fort Lauderdale, and will make its way down the intracoastal just in time for the beginning of Art Basel Miami Beach.

"Something like this has never been done before. It is highly historic and very unique," said Lloyd Goradesky, who created the Gator in the Bay.

Just a stones throw from the Everglades, Goradesky created the giant alligator for the event. The upper jaw is fixed to a hidden crane so it can open its mouth and the rest of the reptile will be even more creative.

"We have created floating art tiles that are 4 feet by 8 feet long and the tiles will be two inches thick," said Goradesky.

Connected and floating behind the head will be 102 photo mosaic tiles to resemble the body and tail.

"You are looking at close to 2,000 images and if you look at them, you can see they are all beautiful landscapes and images with the Everglades theme but from afar, you can see that the scales of the alligator start to become very apparent," said Goradesky.

The alligator head weighs about 30,000 pounds. It was mostly built with reinforced steel. The gator was sliced into three pieces to be transported.

About 100 people, including engineers who designed the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport expansion and the Interstate 595 Express toll lanes, have worked on the project. It is meant to bring awareness to the Everglades.

"The entire piece is green friendly. It is made from used material, recycled material, material found in junkyards," said Goradesky.

The prehistoric public piece has cost over $200,000 to build but it is built to last.

"We have considered things like 50 knot wind conditions and eight inch waves that could disrupt the piece," said Goradesky.

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