New ‘over-the-top’ thrill ride constructed at Oaks Amusement Park

You’ve seen the parts and pieces being unloaded; now see this exciting 58-ton ride being assembled in East Portland …

With all of its parts laid out, the new Oaks Amusement Park “AtmosFEAR” is ready to be erected.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It looked like a well-choreographed ballet of burley men and massive machines – as riggers and contractors from WBF Construction began assembling the new thrill ride, “Atmos-FEAR”, at non-profit Oaks Amusement Park on July 7 and 8.

With massive cranes parked and braced along the midway – and major parts laid out on the ride’s pad – workers began hoisting, bolting, and building this major attraction which weighs in at 116,160 lbs.

It’s a tight fit, between the second leg of AtmosFEAR and the edge of its powerhouse; but thanks to skilled riggers and crane operators, it fits – with a couple of inches to spare.

The first day, the largest crane at the site lifted and dangled the pendulum, the part that will swing, in the exact center of where the ride was being constructed. Then, one by one, with the help of cranes, crews lifted and set into place each of the four legs, bolted to the pendulum mechanics above, and to the reinforced pads below.

On day two, crews installed the “gondola” – actually a circle of outward-facing seats – to the bottom of the pendulum, attached the counterweight atop the ride, and installed the signs and maintenance platforms.

By working together, crew members move the fourth leg of the ride into position.

To see our exclusive time-lapse movie of AtmosFEAR being erected, from the ground up, check out this YouTube video: CLICK HERE.

Inside the pivot atop the pendulum, Oaks CEO Brandon Roben is recruited (with other crew members who were, truly, “burly”) to help prepare attaching the counterweight.

Having test-ridden a similar model of the 75-foot tall ride at another theme park before authorizing its purchase, Oaks Park Association CEO Brandon Roben described his experience of the 360° “over the top” mode for East Portland News in one word: “Terrifying!”

“But our guess is that, most of the time, it will operate in the 180° mode, which will be still offer a very thrilling experience,” commented Roben.

These seats “fly” into position, just before being attached with sturdy bolts to the bottom of the pendulum.

The Oregon Zoo, along with other select indoor and outdoor entertainment such as museums, outdoor gardens, drive-in theaters, and raceways, received statewide authorization to reopen in early June, regardless of what reopening phase the county it’s located in is designated for.

“But, all other indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, like Oaks Park, must now wait until ‘Phase 2’ to reopen,” Roben explained. “Once Multnomah County moves into ‘Phase 2’, we anticipate reopening shortly thereafter.”

As soon as this counterweight is completely attached – it takes just a few minutes – the major construction of the ride is complete.

To keep an eye on their progress, check the park’s website: www.OaksPark.com.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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