Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Construction Update 11/24/2010

A short Thanksgiving work week this week. Crews only worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday so I decided to stop out Wednesday and check on the progress.

The first thing I noticed approaching the roller coaster is crews have started to build the framing around the structure that will house the lift motor.

From Zippin Pippin Construction

At first it appeared no further work had happened on the main structure of the coaster, the start of turn 2 and the out and back lanes looked similar to last Friday.

From Zippin Pippin Construction

As I walked further around the western edge of the existing structure I noticed turn 2 was now being built from the opposite side near the first drop, to meet in the middle with the already started portion from the lift hill side.

From Zippin Pippin Construction
From Zippin Pippin Construction

There are many bents completed on the ground waiting to be put in place along with another one in progress.

From Zippin Pippin Construction
From Zippin Pippin Construction
From Zippin Pippin Construction

Crews continue to lay track on top of the structure that is already in place, since last Friday the first layers of track are being added to the lift hill.

From Zippin Pippin Construction

Crews were busy backfilling the recently completed foundations in zone 3.

From Zippin Pippin Construction
From Zippin Pippin Construction

There are still a few more footings to complete at the turn around curve for the out and back.

From Zippin Pippin Construction

Standing at the extreme end of the out and back looking back towards the main structure the view looks like this.

From Zippin Pippin Construction

Blog reader Steven B took some of my crudely stitched panoramic shots from last week and did a better stitch in photoshop. He also pointed me to a stitching tool from Microsoft called ICE. The results are pretty incredible so this week I took a series of four photos and used this tool to easily stitch together this panorama, thanks Steve! (click on the image for a higher resolution version)

From Zippin Pippin Construction

This tool is part of Microsoft's Photosynth project which enables you to create some pretty amazing interactive models from a collection of digital photographs.  At some point this winter I hope to do a thorough photo survey of the entire structure and attempt to create a "synth" of it so people will be able to virtually walk around the completed structure and zoom in on the details they want to see.

In other news this week it was reported that the project is now over budget by about $500,000. You can read the full article at the Green Bay Press Gazette. The article makes it sound like this is a budgeting error and the higher cost was known prior to construction but the original budget was never updated with the latest estimates.

Next week the structure for turn 2 should be complete; according to workers on the site they plan to be finished by Tuesday (11/30).  Structure work will then begin in zone 3, this work should progress very quickly since the height is much less in this zone.  They expect to have the entire structure completed by Christmas, the remainder of the winter construction will then consist of completing the track and adding mechanical elements like brakes, lift mechanism, and transfer mechanism.

I'll be checking back on progress next week.  I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

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