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Great America Silences New Roller Coaster Over Excessive Noise

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Gold Striker roller coaster at Great America theme park. (CBS)

Gold Striker roller coaster at Great America theme park. (CBS)

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SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — Great America has voluntarily shut down its newest roller coaster, Gold Striker, because the ride has exceeded noise limits.

Shortly after it opened in June 2013, audio technicians tested the noise levels at an office building located about 500 feet away from the coaster, at 4555 Great America Parkway, and found them to be slightly above permitted levels.

A representative from Great America said screaming and yelling from riders exceeded their projections.

“We’re happy they’re screaming on the coaster, we’re happy they’re enjoying it and making noise. The reality, we want to be a good part of this community,” park spokesperson Roger Ross told KPIX 5.

Engineers isolated the problem to a dip that stretches about 70 feet. It has a direct line of sight to the building, and it’s where riders are especially noisy.

On Monday, Great America took the unusual step of shutting the ride down, and began construction on a sound tunnel to suppress the noise. Once completed, the new sound tunnel will allow the ride to operate until the end of the season.

“We want to work with the city, we’ve got good neighbors. They bring business to us. And we want to be part of the community and the fabric there and do what’s best for everyone involved as well,” said Ross.

Riders who had already been on the Gold Striker were frustrated about the closure on Tuesday, but were understanding.

“I’m disappointed I can’t ride it today. I think it’s turning out to be one of the best rides in Great America, said Doug Miller, a season ticket holder.

“(It) sucks. I think anybody would be bummed out if they couldn’t go on this ride,” said 11-year-old John Warnick.

Ross said Gold Striker is expected to be open for the July 4th holiday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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