It may be hard to believe, but Coney Island's new amusement park is opening for the season next month, and rides in the new "Scream Zone" are going up at a rapid pace. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following exclusive report.
The hammers are pounding and the drills are punching as construction crews erect Coney Island's newest roller coaster, the Soaring Eagle. So far, 1,200 feet of track have been installed and workers are racing to put up another 1,200 feet or so.
Opening day for a new amusement park, Scream Zone, is just five weeks away.
"The next five weeks, we're going to be very, very busy," said Valerio Ferrari, the president of Zamperla Inc.
Two rides are already on the Stillwell Avenue site, the coaster and the Zenobio, which spins in full circles.
Two more will complete the park, the human Sling Shot and the Steeplechase coaster. Italian amusement ride manufacturer Zamperla expects to ship those last two by the end of the month.
"We're going to receive 26 containers from Italy for the Steeplechase. So that'll be hard work to unload the container, just alone that," said Ferrari.
Scream Zone will have five entrances, including one on the famed boardwalk. When complete, riders will glide on the Soaring Eagle, daredevils will spin on the Zenobio, brave souls will be catapulted on the Sling Shot and amusement goers will take a historic ride back in time on the Steeplechase.
Coney Island fans who have been checking on the progress say they are excited.
"I've been in Coney Island since I was a teenager and this new project, I love it man. I wish I could go ride it right now," said Maurice Francis, a fan.
"I think it's great for Coney Island. I think it's a rebirth. I really think it's going to be great summer," said Eric Kowalsky, another fan.
Since opening Luna Park last year, Zamperla has quickly expanded its presence in the area. It will now operate the landmark Cyclone roller coaster, oversee all of the boardwalk concessions and open a new restaurant on the corner of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street called Cyclone Cafe.
Coney Island Job Fair
There are more than 275 full- and part-time jobs available at Luna Park, Scream Zone and the Cyclone.
A final job fair will be held on March 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at MCU Park.
Applicants can go to lunaparknyc.com for more information.