Hersheypark Attraction 2012 Update #27.5 (6-22-11)

Gb980109 went back to the construction site yesterday to get better pictures of the construction occuring on the other side of the creek:

This is where some work is going on behind the Hospitality Services building in Rhineland. Written on the dirt is a marker for footer 28. I suspect that the footer that was recently poured that’s behind the crane is footer 30. I was initially thinking it was higher, but based on the leaked layout, probably not.

This is the footer in the creek. They’ve added more rebar today.

Here’s a closer look.

I wanted to post this picture because even though essentially the same one was just posted yesterday, I think the work site looks much cleaner today. They removed the casings for the footers to the left of 12L, as well as the casings that were still on what is logically 14.

Lastly, here’s a close up look at footers 11, 12L and 13, as well the partially exposed Comet footer.

 He also made up a cool cheat sheet for the footers from the debated layout:


Attraction 2012 Hersheypark Update #28 (6-21-11)

Two new updates have come in with one from gb980109 showing more construction progress.




Here’s the ongoing work at the creek. There are 10 footers in view here, including two (or one if you consider it just one split in two) that have been poured in the creek – which is the the first of the project to be poured in what was the creek.
More footers, more fun… oops, wrong park.
Now we know how far Comet’s footers go down.
Next ones on-deck.
Footers on the other side of the creek have shown up.
That’s it for this update!


Attraction 2012 Hersheypark Update #27 (6-17-11)

Gb980109 was at the park yesterday and snapped a few more pictures of construction:

The bulk of the work is being done on the opposite side of the creek behind the green building, which I believe is Hospitality Services. Unfortunately I didn’t have my good camera with me, otherwise I would have been able to get better pictures of that work. However, a lot has happened since the last update, so here are a few good pictures!

These footer casings aren’t being used at the moment.

That’s a pretty nice hole (it also has water in it from the recent rain).

The triplet of footers.

Behind the construction vehicle, you can see that there are two recently poured bases of footers.

Here’s a view of the creek. You can see broken tree branches from trees that were recently cut down, as well as several mounds of dirt to the left. Where that stuff is sitting used to be part of where the creek flowed. Hard to imagine seeing how it is now.

A parting view of the creek.


HERSHEYPARK over the next decade

Recently, a lively debate has erupted over a possible expansion of the monorail and  about expanding the park in the future.  Research on this topic has led me to uncover some public documents about the relocation of Park Boulevard to allow for expansion. First, let’s set the stage.  It should not be a surprise to anyone, but HERSHEYPARK has become quite crowed with rides and now has little room for expansion.  In 2002, HERSHEYPARK bought back the Parkview Golf Course from Hershey Estates and then closed it in 2005.  This lead to much speculation about HERSHEYPARK expanding into this area–but how would they do it with Park Boulevard in the way?

The following image is the current land ownership from the Dauphin County tax records.  The green is owned by the Hershey Entertainment and Resort Company, the yellow by the Hershey Company, and the brown is by the Hershey Estate Golf Course.
Tax Map

As you can see, HERSHEYPARK now has a continuous strip of land that wraps along the south edge of the Giant Center towards Comet’s dogleg. But still–how to expand the park into this area with Park Blvd. in the way? Back in 2007-2009 Derry Township began to explore replacing the bridge on Park Blvd. over Spring Creek because the structure had become deficient. They began planning a 2.3 million dollar new bridge with the existing alignment. The following image is the proposed plan at that time:
2009 Plan

However, in late 2009, something changed. The old plan was withdrawn and a new 21 million dollar plan was proposed that involved relocating the road entirely. The following is a snippet of text from the Harrisburg Area Transit Study (HATS) chairman to Derry Township regrading the project that was obtained on their website: http://www.tcrpc-pa.org/.

The HATS Coordinating Committee took action at its September 4, 2009 meeting to amend the RTP to include the proposed Park Boulevard Realignment and Hershey Access Management project.

The full text can be found here. There are two really interesting topics in the letter: First, the change of plan on the Park Blvd. Realignment, from a simple bridge replacement to a total relocation; second, the public disclosure of the “Hershey Access Management Project”. I was unable to find any more details on the access management project.

In March 2011 the project took a giant leap forward. Derry Township authorized $650,000 for the preliminary engineering on the project.

Resolution #9-2011 – Application for County Aid from Derry Township for Liquid Fuels Funds in the amount of $650,000 for preliminary engineering phase of the Park Boulevard (T-588) Relocation and Bridge DRT-1 Replacement.

This allowed motion enabled HATS to reallocate their funds to the project and, in April 2011, they did just that.
Money Path

You can see the top budget item removes the funds for the bridge only and then the next line reallocates it to the new project, “Park Blvd. Bridge/Roadway”–that now includes the road relocation. The end of the year budget, found here, shows that money is allocated for 2012-2014. This suggests that work will begin in 2012 (likely survey and final engineering) and will be completed in 2014.

All that has been discussed so far does not hint at future HERSHEYPARK expansion. On April 8th, 2011, Brian Emberg of the Herbert, Rowland, and Grubic, Inc engineering firm presented the relocation plan to the HATS technical committee. The full meeting minutes can be found here. I have filed a records request for an actual copy of the presentation, so the following discussion is based solely on the text.

The proposal calls for a “4,000 foot, two lane facility on a new alignment including sidewalks to better handle existing and future traffic.” One of the most striking statements in the minutes is that of a “Public-Private Partnership” to fund the construction. I hypothesize that this is a partnership between the local and state governments and HERSHEYPARK. I support this claim with the following from the meeting minutes: “It will open 30+ acres of land for development. It will boost the tourism industry, which is one of Dauphin County’s largest industries.” Given that 1) Park Blvd borders HERSHEYPARK, 2) the road relocation will create better access for HERSHEYPARK to the old golf course, and 3) the stated purpose is to “boost tourism,” it makes sense that this is the likely partnership. Larger HERSHEYPARK = more tourists = more money for the township. In addition, the property owners are willing to donate land for the new road: “Mr. Emberg said the property owners have tentatively agreed to donate the right-of-way for the new alignment”.

Putting this together, what do we get? The following is my guess; feel free to submit your own!

The red line in the image is the road and it is approximately 4,000 ft as stated. It provides good access to the Hershey Company’s truck lot. It gives the park approximately 30 uninterrupted acres as stated.

Hersheypark Attraction 2012 Update #26 (6/2/11)

Here’s a small construction update for you guys from Thursday…

I’ll keep it short and sweet this time. This week they have started work on making the concrete retaining wall halfway down the construction site.

Some more footers are done while other others are starting to get ready for concrete.

That’s how they get the square opening in the center.

I guess you could call this a threesome. 😛

Looks like they’re trying to make some sort of a land bridge to gain access to the other side.

That’s it for now. I know HPCrazy is heading over to the park tomorrow and I’ll add his photos to this update if there is anything different.

New RIT-Like Website Found (6/2/11)

LaMarcus Brothers  //  Mid-Air Excavation

Say hello to LaMarcus Brothers, the newest clue-filled website from the people who have brought you the Ride Institute of Technology. The coding is similar, the site structure is similar, and the way the clues are presented are similar. Let’s dive in:

In the About Us section a lot of technology is mentioned that doesn’t sound possible (a hover dump truck, wind pather, etc.) but the number #12 is mentioned again along with the years 1990 and 2005 (both years the park got flat rides). The updates section is structured similar to the RIT one, but with the dates being  a few days apart as well as the events being fictional. The 12 is mentioned again.

Here are the keypoints on the rest of the site that stick out to me:

Exploratory Air Surveys – From 12 – 220 feet, LaMarcus Brothers Mid-Air Excavation offers a comprehensive suite of exploratory services utilizing brute physical force and the latest in-house proprietary probing technology.


Storm Runner – In 2004, LaMarcus Brothers partnered with Intamin and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company to build Storm Runner and maximize its vertical horsepower. Since its completion, the hydraulic-powered Storm Runner has become one of the most popular rides at Hersheypark.

Fahrenheit – In 2007, LaMarcus Brothers again partnered with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company to excavate the 121-foot airscape overhanging the proposed Fahrenheit vertical chain lift. After extensive high-air grading and atmospheric excavation, both completed on time and under budget, Fahrenheit anchored a record-breaking summer season at Hersheypark.

Kangaroo Bridge – In 2009, Jeffrey and Rocky LaMarcus temporarily relocated to New Zealand to design the above-ground foundation for the Kangaroo Bridge connecting the north and south islands. Construction is set to begin in early 2012.


Rigorous safety protocols are central to the effectiveness of all licensed construction companies, particularly a company that works exclusively aboveground. At LaMarcus Brothers Mid-Air Excavation, we promote an injury-free environment by mandating a 40-hour safety course for all new employees. This includes step-by-step instruction in our 5-point “Never-Fall” safety harnesses, hands-on training with our double-redundant hover technology, and first-person immersive role-playing within a variety of safety scenarios.

Through our industry-leading training and education programs, we have achieved a safety record that offers piece-of-mind to our employees and their loved ones.

EDIT (6/3/11):

Nearly at the same time this new website was discovered, RIT has released a new clue with the picture on the Studies page flashing a series of letters (2vBm). Place them into the search bar and you get a .pdf file named Ch.2.


Inside is another dutch letter and a diagram showing the image of a footer (similar to how Storm Runner’s is). If you translate it, you get this:

TITLE: Hers hey park MINI paals stones y m
T A G S P R O J E C T 2 0 1 2
– – – – – – – – – – – – OVERVIEW AND ACTIVITIES – – – – – – – – –
A12. (JVDV) Hershey Park has created a new mini-pile foundation system.
A13. (JVDV) Mini-piles to integrate with rock and earth connections Foundation
A14. (JVDV) Mini redundant posts need huge piles, saving competitive
time, cost, construction, excavation, etc.
A15. (JVDV) Consistent application of new technology attraction
Institute proposes stronger ties with Ride than previously thought.
A16. (JVDV) Caught snapshot suggests dark tone footer underground
A17. (JVDV) Mini-piles to absorb energy, not only strength but
significant upthrust ride.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – Opinion – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
P01 – AFW see further deterioration in its competitive standing against
New technology is being used by more aggressive players in the market.
Lagging technology expertise has elevated to the status of
AFW P01 and requires a further investment in both competitive monitoring
and control.