At this time of year, most people are counting the days until Christmas. But not the special projects manager at the Cedar Point amusement park.

Jim Colvin is counting the days until the park opens because he's waiting for a ride on what is being billed as the world's fastest roller coaster, which Arrow Dynamics of Clearfield, Utah, helped design. The coaster, under construction, is to be ready when the park opens May 6.The Magnum XL-200 will be the tallest and fastest coaster at 201 feet tall and traveling more than 70 mph, Colvin said Tuesday.

The coaster will take its passengers down a 60-degree slope, through tunnels and along the northern shore of the Cedar Point Peninsula, on Lake Erie's western shore.

But some months before the opening, coaster parts look like parts of a toy to be assembled for Christmas.

Colvin's job is to coordinate the efforts of all the companies helping build the $8 million project, and to make sure the construction pace doesn't slow.

Arrow Dynamics has built four of Cedar Point's eight other coasters. Cedar Point officials planned the hills, dips, and turns for this ride, but Arrow Dynamics did the most design work.

Fabriweld, Arrow Dynamic's independently owned sister company, manufactures the track and bends it according to specifications.

Work clearing the ground began in August. Concrete footers will be put in, and by mid-February, 157 steel columns that will support the coaster will arrive at the park. They are being made by Southern Ohio Fabricators in Cincinnati.