|A rendering of the 'Ocean Wonders: Sharks!' exhibit
at the New York Aquarium. It's scheduled to open in 2016.
Coney Island is set for a shark attack.
After years of planning, New York Aquarium is finally set to break ground on a jaw-dropping new shark exhibit Friday.
The massive 57,000-square-foot "Ocean Wonders: Sharks!" exhibit will feature a coral reef tunnel that will give guests a 360-degree-view of the new plethora of ocean life when it officially opens to the public in 2016.
“You will be surrounded on all sides by not only sharks, but by schools of bright colored bony fish and the sort of beauty of the tropics that we all associate with diving,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, aquarium director and vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the aquarium.
The $157-million exhibit will feature more than 100 species of marine animals, both local and from around the world, including sharks, rays, sea turtles, thousands of schooling fish and other crustaceans.
More than 45 sharks, including sand tigers, nurse sharks, blackttip reef sharks and bamboo sharks will swim around inside the three main 500,000-gallon tanks.
“It’s going to be a tremendous expansion of our collection,” said Dohlin. "I think people will be amazed, exhilarated and inspired.”
The three-story facility will also boast a roof-deck overlooking the ocean, classroom space and a cafe.
Officials were supposed to break ground on the exhibit a year ago, but Hurricane Sandy devastated the aging aquarium and delayed the project, which has been in the works for several years