Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Blast From The Past - Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach

It has been quite awhile since we have posted a Blast, but it seemed like a good time to reprise the column on a limited basis.  From time to time, when our workload allows we will dig up a story on a piece of amusement recent or ancient history.

On November 27th 2007 Indiana Beach announced the addition of the park's sixth roller coaster, Steel Hawg.

Construction began in early 2008 on the north side of the park in what had been the preferred parking lot, near the Hoosier Hurricane and Rocky's Rapids Log Flume rides.

Rising 96 feet above ground and featuring a 120 degree first drop, along with two inversions, Steel Hawg was designed and constructed by S & S Worldwide, Inc. of Logan, Utah. The custom designed El Loco model, is the first looping coaster in the parks history.

Steel Hawg was be the first of it's kind in the United States and the first major steel coaster to be constructed in the state of Indiana: Steel Hawg. When digging for the very large footers, only 4-5 feet below the ground the original muck hauled in by the draft horses in 1925 was found, and it had not dried out all these years. A redesign of the rides foundation was require and a deep bed of varying sizes of gravel established a solid base to pour the concrete.

One of the largest ride investments in Indiana Beach's history. Steel Hawg is very distinctive ride with tight turns, 90º banks, inversions, and other one-of-a-kind elements. However, with a height limit of 48 inches, it's also a ride designed for families to enjoy together.

When the ride was announced then park president, Tom Spackman Jr stated, "When we debuted The Hoosier Hurricane in 1994, it was the first new wooden coaster the state had seen in over fifty years. Now, with the Steel Hawg, we'll be able to continue that thrilling tradition and take our guests on an entirely unique ride on the state's first custom steel coaster."

Originally scheduled to open in mid-May, with the park, Steel Hawg encountered a few set backs and eventually opened on July 5th 2008.

 Hope you enjoyed these construction photos from early 2008, Steel Hawg was the last addition to Indiana Beach planned by the Spackman family before the park was sold to Morgan RV Resorts.