Jet Star Roller Coaster: Will Seaside Heights’ Iconic Ride Be Replaced?

By Philip Ross on May 14, 2013 6:11 PM EDT

hurricane sandy jet star
The skeleton of the Jet Star roller coaster, which has been sitting in the surf in Seaside Heights, N.J. since Hurricane Sandy battered the shoreline last October, will be taken apart starting May 14 and removed from the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo: Reuters/Steve Nesius)

[UPDATE Wed. 12:30 p.m.] Prince Harry, escorted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, visited the Jersey Shore Tuesday to see the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Also, Lawrenceville Patch reports that authorities will keep a flag which was placed at the top of the rusting roller coaster as evidence in their ongoing case against the trespasser who put it there.

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The Jet Star roller coaster, whose skeletal remains became a kind of tourist attraction, will be removed from the surf bit by bit starting today, May 14. The steel roller coaster has been sitting in the Atlantic Ocean ever since Hurricane Sandy destroyed part of the Casino Pier and plopped the coaster into the breakers last October.

USA Today reports that a demolition crew began dismantling the iconic New Jersey roller coaster, which has been sitting in the Atlantic Ocean for more than six months. A barge and a crane arrived earlier this morning, and the salvage operation is expected to take about 48 hours.

The Seaside Heights roller coaster, which has become a poignant symbol of the destruction Hurricane Sandy caused to the working-class oceanfront community, will finally have its final farewell.

A crowd gathered along the shore to watch as cranes ripped apart the steel frame and tracks of the roller coaster, Yahoo News reports. People took photos with their cameras and iPhones, news helicopters swarmed above, and camera crews hurried to get a good shot of the dismemberment of the roller coaster.

"It is a huge relief to know we finally have a starting time, and in the next few days we'll see progress and an ocean clear of debris," spokeswoman Toby Wolf of Casino Pier amusement park told USA Today.

Officials said they will reopen a limited number of rides at the Casino Pier amusement park by Memorial Day weekend, which is just a few weeks away. Part of the Jet Star roller coaster will be kept and displayed as a memorial.

According to the Wall Street Journal, officials plan to replace the Jet Star with a new ride called the "Superstorm." The ride, shaped like a giant pendulum which swings back and forth and even goes upside down, was manufactured by Technical Park and is already built and delivered.  

"We hope that it's perceived in a positive way, that we're back, we know the force of Mother Nature, and that we respect that, and this is our way of celebrating it," Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers said.

Read more from iScience Times:

Winter Storm Saturn Hits Long Beach Island, NJ: More Flooding Following Hurricane Sandy Damage [PHOTOS]

Eerie Pyramids In NYC: Amazing Photos From The Rockaways After Hurricane Sandy [PHOTOS]

N.J. Beaches 50 Percent Smaller After Hurricane Sandy: Should They Rebuild?

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