Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Scott And Carol Present - A Look At Six Flags Great America's Goliath

This crane just arrived in the last two weeks to help with the taller part of the ride assembly. It is around the same height as the top of Vertical Velocity.

Life is good when you can watch the snow fall off a new roller coaster being built for the upcoming season. Of course a little snow is pretty, but more than a little is unnecessary because it only results in delays, and nobody wants to wait any longer than they have to, to ride Goliath at Six Flags Great America this spring.

The motor pad is on the left and the riders will drop into a shallow dip as they head back for the second trip through the tunnel. There will be another picture coming up from the other end of this ride segment.

Work has already started on the station modifications for Goliath. Some of Iron Wolf will continue to live on in Goliath.

This is just one of the laser sights used to ensure the footer is place in the right position. For final placement, three of them from all different directions are utilized to assure accuracy. The placement must be accurate for all three dimensions since the structural pieces are all precut back in Idaho and shipped in, as a finished product.

A nice wide shot give a view of the scope of the roller coaster. There is still lots of work to be done before Goliath is ready to roll.

The bottom of the trench is twenty feet below ground level but the train will be around fifteen feet below grade. Pre-cut 4 x 4 are nailed together and slid in between the I-beams. Once all the boards are in position, the back filling is done. The worker gives you a scale of the trench, which will be covered over after the underground assembly is completed.

This is the first piece of track attached to the structure. You can see the precast concrete next to the trench ready to be put into place on top of the gravel and sand bed. Once they are in position, concrete is poured around them to lock them in position.

According to Brandon, the tunnel will be so much fun the riders have go through it twice in the same direction during each ride. The side by side track beds account for the large width of the trench.

The pre-assembled sections are stacked in the back ground and ready to go. In the front is where everything is bolted together prior to being lifted into place.

Entire sections are bolted together on the ground and carefully lifted into position. Then they are bolted together while the next section is prepared on the ground. The brackets have already been installed, ready to go higher.

This is the bottom of the tallest point on the roller coaster, the lift hill. The foundation is larger to support the extra weight from the structure 165 feet above the ground. Just to the left of this point the fastest wooden hybrid coaster in the world will soon scream down the 85 degree first drop.

Here is the view from the other end. As recounted in the video by Brandon, the motor pad is on the right and the trick track is on the left.

The view from what will become the exit ramp shows the steel ledgers at the top.

Here are a couple interviews as well as the sights and sounds of the construction site for your entertainment:

Right before we left another large section was lowered into place. The Rocky Mountain Construction crew was working hard while they had good weather because they already lost two days last week due to the "polar vortex," and they knew more snow was on the way soon.

Our thanks to Katy and Brandon for taking time out of their very busy day. We  all are looking forward to riding Goliath at Six Flags Great America this Spring.


Unknown said...

Great pictorial archive of the work. Looking forward to riding this hyped up coaster this season.
Here's hoping this very frigid and legitimately relentless winter doesn't contribute any negative short or long term effects on the foundation of this structure.
I've been on other woodens that have become ruggedly painful within their g forces too early in their structural life. Some I will never ride again, ever (i.e. Mean Streak, Hades -two which exist in winter regions).
Records or not, fun or not, a wooden coaster can go bad. The Eagle took two years to build, even though it was 33 yrs ago and virtually twice the size. This thing takes a few months?!...Wow.