ShareThis Page
Kennywood’s Steel Curtain coaster is on track for summer |

Kennywood’s Steel Curtain coaster is on track for summer

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

This new Steel Curtain is quite intimidating, and its name is fitting.

Inspired by the Pittsburgh Steelers stifling defense of the 1970s, The Steel Curtain roller coaster at Kennywood in West Mifflin is massive and well on its way to throwing its riders for a loop.

Media members toured around the coaster Wednesday.

“Where else would you rather be than at an amusement park on the first day of spring?” Kennywood spokesman Nick Paradise said before the tour began.

About half of the nine inversions are in place. Most of the pieces are coming from the United States with a few from out of the country, Paradise said. The longest piece is 50 feet.

The Steel Curtain is expected to be completed by early summer.

The ride is expected to set several records when completed, including tallest roller coaster in Pennsylvania — 220 feet.

This will be the park’s eighth roller coaster. Founded in 1898, Kennywood was named a National Landmark in 1987.

The marriage between Kennywood and the Steelers is a perfect one, said Ryan Huzjak, vice-president of sales and marketing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We see a passion at Heinz Field for the Steelers and this is a different way for fans to connect with the Steelers,” Huzjak said. “There are lots of family traditions at Heinz Field and there are also lots of family traditions at Kennywood, which is a great family environment. This coaster and Steelers Country at Kennywood are inclusive for everybody. The Steelers and Kennywood are a great match.”

Former Steelers outside linebacker Bill Priatko of Irwin works at one of the concession stands.

“This is wonderful,” he said. “This will go nationwide and people will come here from all over the country to ride this ride. I didn’t realize it was this big.”

Before anyone rides, there has to be a number of inspections and test runs, including some with weights to imitate bodies riding the roller coaster, said Kennywood General Manager Jerome Gibas said.

Will Gibas take a ride?

“No,” he said. “I get dizzy going upside down.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.