Depth of Footers/Foundations

Saturday, July 13, 2002 3:59 PM

On the following rides, what are the depths of their footers, or foundations? Thanks for your help.

1. Intamin Gyro Drops - Example: Drop Zone at PKI

2. Top Spins - Example: Ripsaw at Alton Towers

3. B&M coasters ( Average )

4. Intamin coasters ( Average )

5. Arrow coasters ( Average )

Intelligence is a God given gift: Know how to use it.

Saturday, July 13, 2002 4:00 PM
I know Millennium Force's largest footers are 56X56 and 25ft deep.

Why do they report power outages on TV?

Saturday, July 13, 2002 6:45 PM

X's footers go 65-80 feet into the ground.

-Sean Newman
88 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC Coaster # 100 in July.
Nitro Laps:105
B+R Launches:28

Saturday, July 13, 2002 7:04 PM

The design of footers is controled more by the soil conditions than by the ride design. Build a coaster in the quarry at SFFT, and you only need to scratch down a few feet to bed rock. Build the same coaster at Jazzland in New Orleans, and you you will need some serious pilings in the soft ooze.

Sorry SOOperGIR, but the footers for MF are nowhere near that deep. Check out CP's web site for the the photos. Per the engineers who built it, the deepest footers are only about 8 feet deep. While CP is built on sand, it seems to have good load bearing properties.

Saturday, July 13, 2002 9:10 PM

To be exact, the largest footing on MF is 56' X 63.27' and 5' deep. There is no footer on MF deeper than 5' and there are 3 of those which are 5'. They support the big 3 towers on the lift. Most of the footings are between 3'-4' deep.

I think it would be safe to say some of it depends on the soil conditions. MF has no footings on the island turns, just piers which support the columns. Probably decent harder soil out there. When watching the construction of WT, I noticed that the footings that support the 2 towers were deeper than any on MF, probably because of those soil conditions over there.

Steve Sergent
MF count: 177

Sunday, July 14, 2002 9:10 AM
I thought that they looked a little deeper than that from the photos, but I'm fully prepared to believe 5'. On a project like a coaster, the normal thing to do is to take a series of borings to determine the soil conditions at various points along the path. The footers are then designed accordingly.
Sunday, July 14, 2002 3:01 PM
BKF's are extremely deep. I've heard that the steel tubes go down 50ft. Not sure the exact depth though.


Sunday, July 14, 2002 3:09 PM
Interesting comments. The governing factor is the soil.
Sunday, July 14, 2002 4:05 PM
I didn't see the construction of BKF, but I did watch part of the construction of Serial Thriller. Those pilings were very long. I wouldn't be surprised if they are 50ft or longer. That is very swampy land so those footers have to be very deep.
Sunday, July 14, 2002 6:16 PM
People said the two footers at Cedar Point are like 25-30 ft deep. Why would they have to dig so deep? When riding Space Spiral at CP they said it?s around 30 ft deep, so if your park has around the same conditions it could be about that deep.
Monday, July 15, 2002 5:18 AM

Anything deeper than around 5 feet isn't a footing, it is a pier - they are different.

If you dig away all the crappy dirt at the surface, eventually you will hit rock or soil with good bearing capacity. A pier is basically a post down to this "good" dirt. (50' is not an unusually long length for a pier)

Monday, July 15, 2002 6:00 AM

soil isnt the only factor, flooding can also affect them.
jubilee odyssey is built right on the coast and so is prone to flooding, due to this the footers go below ground the same distance the supports go above ground, about 150ft!

Monday, July 15, 2002 8:44 AM

What do footers and piers look like above ground?

Can you tell the difference from looking at them?

Monday, July 15, 2002 9:26 AM

Generally, piers are long and round while footings are short and square or rectangular.

However, piers are often topped with a "pier cap" (a large, rectangular piece of concrete which ties several piers together and makes them act as one unit... which looks alot like a footing...). Regardless, pier caps or footings are usually burried below a few feet of dirt, so from the surface, you can't tell the difference.

Monday, July 15, 2002 10:01 AM
I was at SFWoA about a month ago and the water level in the lake was low enough to expose the "piers", which I had always thought were footings. Seeing those immense concrete blocks perched on top of those narrow tubes was bizzare...

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