TimberHawk starts screaming



The TimberHawk, bigger and faster than any roller coaster in Washington history, has started making tracks in Federal Way.

The grand opening is today for the newest attraction at Enchanted Village and Wild Waves, taking thrillseekers as high as 75 feet and as fast as 50 miles an hour through a combined 44 curves, loops and crossovers.

Twenty-four people at a time can take the 90-second whirl. Members of the news media, all safely above the minimum height requirement for riders of four feet, got a preview Thursday.

Anticipating a boost in business, managers of the amusement park owned by Six Flags have been chomping at the bit to open the TimberHawk, which gets its name from the surrounding stand of fir trees and the Old West theme of its park section. General manager Lenny Freund said it’s “a classic wooden coaster with high-tech innovations."

Not only is it the biggest coaster ever built in Washington, it’s the state’s first wooden one in 68 years.

Utah-based S&S Power Inc., one of several companies in the U.S. that specialize in building large amusement rides, was the lead contractor in the project. Six Flags didn’t disclose the project’s cost, but more than 514,000 board feet of Southern Yellow Pine, 500,000-plus nails, screws and other hardware, and 1,265 concrete footings went into the construction.

Early reviews have been good.

“The architecture is fantastic,” said Brian Bruwa, an Olympia resident who was at the park Thursday.

“Amazing,” Tammy Anders said after finishing her second TimberHawk ride with Bruwa. They said they’d go five more times.

The 70-acre Enchanted Village and Wild Waves complex, one of 38 amusement parks operated by Six Flags worldwide, has 25 rides and attractions.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

Staff photographer Fumiko Yarita-Bonham contributed to this report.

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