Six Flags Great America in Gurnee is delaying the opening of the long-awaited Goliath roller coaster, billed as the fastest and steepest wooden coaster in the world.

Weather is to blame for the delay of the long-awaited Goliath roller coaster, billed as the fastest and steepest wooden coaster in the world, according to officials at Six Flags Great America.

"Thanks to Mother Nature’s freezing temperatures this winter and unseasonably cool and rainy spring, the final touches on Goliath have been delayed," the Gurnee theme park said in a statement this morning.

A new opening date will be announced later this week, according to the statement.

Goliath was scheduled to open May 31 and promised to hurl riders down an 85-degree, 180-foot cliff before sending them into curves, two upside-down twists and a zero gravity stall, according to a Tribune report. The coaster is set to be 165 feet tall and will plunge into a 15-foot deep tunnel for a record-setting 180-foot fall. 

The ride marks the first new roller coaster at Six Flags since X Flight in 2012. Wooden roller coasters have been edged out by steel coasters, but recent advances in 3-D computer modeling and coaster technology have allowed new wooden rides to twist and turn like never before.

jmdelgado@tribune.com