Holiday World Roller Coaster Foundation
In the summer of 2014, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari was setting up the foundation for their first ever steel roller coaster, the Thunderbird. East & Westbrook Construction was selected to complete the concrete foundation work on this new, historical attraction, which would become a central draw for the popular midwestern amusement park.
Unlike a building that has four corners and straight walls, the Thunderbird has a unique layout and organic path of travel through a varied terrain, which made the project quite interesting for the crew. Working in the dense trees that the coaster was designed to weave through was particularly tricky; but, that wasn’t the only challenge. The coaster’s site was also in close, adjacent proximity to an existing ride that the new attraction was designed to intersect with. Precision was extremely crucial since riders’ safety was ultimately at stake. The E&W project team used GPS equipment to map out designed coaster path, which had to be 100% accurate. The team utilized anchor bolts which each had to be on a very specific degree of angle, then turned a particular way to allow the coaster to weave through the trees.
The fully operational Thunderbird ride opened to an excited audience of thrillseekers in the spring of 2015. The coaster features 3,035 ft of track and reaches heights of 140 ft. The Thunderbird is the first wing-coaster ever launched, and the East & Westbrook team is proud to have helped with the build.