SANDUSKY - Track modifications on Cedar Point's newest scream machine, Maverick, are under way, a spokesman for the amusement park said yesterday.
The roller coaster was slated to be ready by the amusement park's opening day on May 12, but its public debut was delayed so four sections of steel track on the 4,450-foot-long ride could be replaced, spokesman Robin Innes said.
He said those sections of track were putting excessive stress on the roller coaster's cars, causing park officials to delay the opening after conducting tests and consulting with IntaRide, the ride manufacturer.
The new sections of track were fabricated at a manufacturing plant in Europe for IntaRide and then flown to the United States.
The replacement track sections were then delivered by truck to the park earlier this week, and installation began immediately afterward, Mr. Innes said.
The existing track included a "heartline roll" that followed the ride's second launch. The new element, described as an "S-curve," will not include an inversion, as previously planned.
Instead, the "S-curve" will keep riders above the track as they quickly change direction while they maneuver through a right turn into a left turn.
No other sections of Maverick will be modified.
After the track is installed, Maverick will undergo additional testing and an inspection by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's amusement ride safety division.
When the inspection is completed and the ride is licensed, Maverick will open to the public, likely in early June, Mr. Innes said.
In addition, he said IntaRide also increased the height requirement for Maverick from 48 inches to 52 inches after testing was completed.
Most of the larger rides and roller coasters have a height requirement of between 48 inches and 54 inches.
Maverick, Cedar Point's 17th roller coaster, will take passengers to the top of a 105-foot-tall hill, then drop them down at a 95-degree angle - slightly inverted - at speeds of up to 57 mph to within five feet of the ground. A launch inside a dark tunnel will send the coaster's trains out into the daylight at 70 mph. The two-and-a-half minute ride includes eight hills.