Lake Compounce, CT Wooden Coaster
Challenge: A wooden coaster (“Boulder Dash”) would connect a historic park that sat on the boundary of two local towns in rural Connecticut, but the site was situated on the side of a boulder strewn mountainside. Surveying the contours to an appropriate level of detail would take an incredible amount of time if performed on the ground and would require extensive tree removal to be done from the air. The unique surface conditions of the site meant that every footing would be one of a kind.
Solutions: Multiple existing rides on the mountainside demonstrated several foundations that could be used for the various individual conditions and specific forces per footing. GGE presented a varied menu of footing options that could be used to accommodate the matrix of conditions and loads. A member of the design team visited the site once a week and worked out the right menu footing with the foundation contractor based on the best fit.
Results: Cooperation between the local town building departments, the contractor and the engineer produced a complex but workable foundation scheme involving over 1,600 individual connections between the coaster structure and the rocky outcrops and boulders. Boulder Dash has been voted one of the world’s best new wooden coasters by the National Amusement Park Historical Association.