Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cedar Point Builds GateKeeper's First Keyhole

Earlier this week Cedar Point was able to complete the first of two towers that will make up the highly anticipated keyhole elements on GateKeeper, the park's massive new wing coaster.  The keyholes will stand directly over the park's new main entrance, with the coaster flying through them as guests enter the park.

The massive structure was built in two pieces, the first of which can be seen standing in the photo above.  Cedar Point has also been touting the economic impact that building the new coaster has had on Ohio, and rightfully so.  The $30 million project represents many jobs and business being brought to the area during the cold winter months.

Many local contractors are working on the ride - which will give passengers the above view just before they slip sideways and slide through that small opening - including A.A. Boos & Sons, who has had almost two dozen workers on site involved "in everthing from leveling the site to digging the footers and filling them with cement.  The crew has poured nearly 200 concrete footers of varying sizes to hold supports for GateKeeper."

The finished product, seen above, was built - along with all the other track and supports - at Clermont Steel Fabricators in southern Ohio.  Tony Ravagnani Architects, which is based in Cincinnati, designed and engineered the actual keyhole structures before fabrication.

In order for GateKeeper to take anyone flying through the keyholes, it'll need some power.  That's where Firelands Electric, based in Sandusky, comes in.  They provide control wiring so the coaster can operate - and have pretty lights once the sun goes down.

Since 2007 Cedar Fair has invested more than $130 million in its Ohio properties, the park reports.  GateKeeper will break seven world records when it opens, including longest drop, longest track, and most inversions on a winged coaster.

All photos © Cedar Point