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Six Flags Mexico City Superman Coaster

Challenge: Design the foundations for a 200-foot-tall steel coaster in Mexico City.

The local trades only spoke Spanish, the coaster was positioned over a major portion of the front entrance parking lot, there was an old landfill on the site and the hilly contours precluded the normal layout of bracing columns. In addition, the schedule was compressed due to regulations of the federal government.

Solutions: The GGE team brought together design of the structure and the foundations, unique to the industry where the foundation design usually follows the structural design. Optimizing the two components reduced the number of column supports, footings and hence cost. Tracking the foundation design in unison with the structure reduced the design and construction period by one third. A large central deadman foundation at the last curve resolved the difficulty with the steeply sloping grade.

Results: GGE’s design efforts minimized the impact of the coaster foundations on the parking area by half, reduced the cost of the steel structure and the foundations and helped the owner meet the aggressive schedule. Plans and specifications prepared in English and Spanish brought the two cultures together.