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One of the most published images from the devastation of superstorm Sandy in New Jersey showed the iconic Seaside Heights Jet Star roller coaster submerged in water, after a portion of the Casino Pier was swept away. Mayor Bill Akers first suggested that it could stay submerged and become a tourist attraction, but he has now said that the coaster will be removed.
Last week, Akers told NBC 4 New York that it would make a “great tourist attraction” and that he was already talking with the Coast Guard about leaving it there.
However, on Monday, he backtracked on the comment, telling the Asbury Park Press, “I told them (television), that I did not have an issue with it (staying), it’s not my decision since its private property...That was the extent of my comment, and then all of this firestorm. It was not the brightest comment.”
He confirmed that borough officials and the owners of the pier are discussing how to remove the thrill ride.
“If it was going to stay, there are issues. Would the DEP (the state Department of Environmental Protection) allow it? Does it have to be anchored down properly? And the Coast Guard would need to approve it,” Akers continued. “The whole situation is unfortunate.”
Demolition crews have already removed most of the damaged areas of the boardwalk, nearly a month after the storm hit the area on Oct. 29. Akers noted that reconstruction efforts will start in January and they hope to have it completed by the busy Memorial Day weekend.