Friday, December 19, 2014

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Luna Park Reopens After Crews Secure Astrotower

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TWC News: Luna Park Reopens After Crews Secure Astrotower
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Several of Coney Island's biggest attractions reopened Thursday after crews worked overnight to dismantle a section of the iconic Astrotower which began swaying heavily earlier this week.

As of 3 p.m., guests could be seen walking through the gates at Luna Park.

According to their Facebook page, after "additional structural analysis" the city gave them the greenlight to resume operations.

They also thanked all parties involved, saying they "demonstrated a commitment to reopen all of Coney Island for visitors and locals alike."

"I'm happy about it. That way you know everybody that's coming this way they're not gonna come for no reason, you know?" said one park visitor.

Beachgoers first noticed the tower was swaying more than usual on Tuesday.

The Department of Buildings says an elevator was removed over the winter making the 275-foot tower tower less stable.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri said the removal of the tower is ongoing.

"We determined that the best way to mitigate the risk was to reduce the load, and to do that we actually piece by piece reduced the load by utilizing welders to cut back 53 feet of the tower to 44,000 pounds of weight. And over the next several nights after the park is closed we will continue to work," LiMandri said.

"This was a tough job, it was a tough decision to make, the Department of Buildings, the commissioner did. But he did what was best for the people of New York City," said City Councilman Domenic Recchia.

The swaying tower had forced the closing of some of Coney Island's biggest attractions including the Cyclone roller coaster, the Wonder Wheel and a two block section of the boardwalk.

Officials estimate the temporary shut down cost boardwalk businesses some 30 percent in revenue.

Business owners who struggled to reopen after Hurricane Sandy say they were worried about further losses if the closures continued.

"We have a long weekend ahead of us so that's what's gonna make it up for us," said Desiree Velez, a Coney Island business owner.

In addition to the beach, the Scream Zone at Luna Park, the Coney Island Raceway and the B&B Carousel were unaffected.

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