|Press Release: |
St. Louis, Mo.--One of the Midwest's biggest new attractions of the Bicentennial Year is a $3 million addition to Six Flags Over Mid-America near St. Louis. THE SCREAMIN' EAGLE is the world's longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster. The giant coaster, covering five acres, has a track length of nearly three-quarters of a mile, (3,872 feet) making it the world's longest, a height of 110 feet and a maximum speed of more than 62 MPH--a record breaking ride in every aspect. THE SCREAMIN' EAGLE also has the two longest drops known where riders actually plunge down a 87 foot and a breathtaking 92 foot incline.
John Allen, who has spent the last 42 years designing roller coasters across the nation, is the gentleman responsible for the behemoth. Mr. Allen points out that at certain spots, there will be no screams because riders of the huge roller coaster will be breathless. The roller coaster is a gravity ride and riders will spend about one-minute of the two-minute ride being lifted 400 feet from the station to the top of the coaster. From this point on, "Mother Nature" does the rest of the work taking riders on a twisting figure-eight ride.
One of the interesting highlights of this attraction--is that the entire structure, even the tracks, are made of wood--Douglas fir from Oregon, specially treated with chemicals to protect it from weather, rot, insects and fire. Why wood? It gives the smoothest, softest ride, according to Tom Robertson, Six Flags' director of construction and maintenance. Some interesting statistics are that there are 105 miles of lumber, 10,000 gallons of paint, 50,000 lbs. of bolts and 15,400 lbs. of nails used in construction of this ultimate coaster.
General contractor for THE SCREAMIN' EAGLE is Frontier Construction Corporation of Eureka, Mo. Frontier's president W. Norm Howells, Jr., says construction tolerances were virtually "nil--less than one-eighth of an inch." On the 39-inch track width, he said the tolerance is zero. At the peak of construction, some 70 workers were on the site, most of them carpenters. "It's a beautiful carpenter job," says Howells with admiration.