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Take a virtual ride on Cedar Point's newest coaster

12:57 PM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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SANDUSKY (WKYC) - The GateKeeper scream machine is quickly taking shape, and Cedar Point officials say the new roller coaster's construction is right on schedule.

"The crews have been working 10-hour days, six days a week, through the snow and cold Lake Erie winds," spokesperson Annie Zelm says. "But it looks like they'll enjoy a momentary reprieve this week as temperatures climb to highs in the 50s by Saturday."

Zelm says approximately 40 percent of the ride's structure is complete.

"It's quickly approaching the main gate and Blue Streak, which is the turnaround point," she explains.

Many of GateKeeper's twisted ride elements have already been erected.

"The Wing Over Drop, Immelmann and Camelback elements are now complete," Zelm says. "More exciting inversions are on the way, including the Zero-G-Roll and In-Line-Roll."

Zelm also says crews have started the foundation for two 100-foot tall keyhole towers, which riders will narrowly pass through as they "fly" over Cedar Point's main gate on GateKeeper.

Construction of the GateKeeper's structure, according to Zelm, should be complete in April, which is also when the majority of the ride's testing is scheduled to take place.

The ride is slated to soar to life during the park's opening day on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

When it makes its debut, GateKeeper will become Cedar Point's 16th roller coaster, taking riders on a 2 minute 40 second journey along 4,165 feet of steel track.

GateKeeper, which will be the world's longest winged coaster, is the first roller coaster introduced at Cedar Point since Maverick debuted at the back of the park in 2007.

Upon its completion, crews will have placed nearly 200 concrete footers, 200 steel supports and 12 million pounds of concrete to make GateKeeper a reality. In total, it's expected to take nearly 290 days of work from the initial site preparation to the ride's scheduled opening.

In addition to GateKeeper's construction -- which is taking the area once held by the now-demolished Space Spiral and Disaster Transport rides -- Cedar Point's main gate is getting a complete facelift for the 2013 season as well.

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