Gold Striker

California's Great America was able to reopen its new Gold Striker roller coaster in time for the Fourth of July weekend, after noise issues forced its closure.

A 70-foot tunnel was hastily constructed to enclose a drop near the beginning of the ride, over a period of just two-and-a-half days. This came after screaming riders caused noise levels at a nearby office building to exceed limits set by local authorities.

A tunnel already covers much of Gold Striker's first drop, having been added to the plans midway through construction of the wooden coaster. The initial designs for the coaster released by California's Great America did not include the tunnel, which has negated a feature that was billed as one of the ride's unique elements when it was first announced - the first drop that would have wrapped around the 200-foot Star Tower observation tower.

Manufactured by Great Coasters International, Gold Striker stands at 108-feet-tall and hits a top speed of 53.7 miles per hour at the base of its 103-foot first drop. The ride's circuit features a series of banked turns and "airtime" hills, as well as the "world's longest covered initial descent tunnel on a wooden coaster".

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