Coney Island Crews Fix Amusement Rides Damaged By Sandy
With the Coney Island amusement season coming up, workers are busy spending the winter trying to salvage rides before the Brooklyn landmark's new season begins. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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Amusement park workers recently stood on the steep drop of the Cyclone, as they laid down 600 feet of new track for the famed roller coaster. Others inspected the motors of cars on Luna Park rides.
The Coney Island season starts in less than 10 weeks, but there is more than just winter maintenance being done there. They also need to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy.
"We have to dedicate all of our time to be re-opened by March," said Alberto Zamperla, the CEO of Luna Park.
Sandy hit at the end of last season so it did not disrupt park operations at the time. But it left plenty of destruction behind, mostly in the park's mechanical and electrical systems.
About five feet of water flooded motors and switches and much was ruined and rusted.
"When you open an electrical cabinet and water poured out of it, that's bad," said Valerio Ferrari, the president of Luna Park.
The storm caused about $8 millon worth of damage. All the mechanical and electrical systems are now being removed and replaced.
"Change all the electrical, test it and make sure that everything is going to work perfectly," said Zamperla.
The goal is to be ready for the traditional Palm Sunday opening, which this year falls on March 24.
Luna Park officials say they will add three new rides, including -- believe it or not -- a water ride.
"This Water Mania ride will be the first time seeing it in the world," said Ferrari.
Also new to Coney Island this season is the historic B&B Carousel opening on the boardwalk and a new lighting system for the Parachute Jump.
NY1 was the first news venue to report on the design for those lights back in November. But before the landmark is lit up, there is the Sandy clean-up.