It’s perhaps the most lasting image from Superstorm Sandy – the twisted metal silhouette of a roller coaster resting in grey waves.
Nearly six months after the storm, the Jet Star roller coaster still sits in the water instead of its normal spot on a Seaside Heights’ pier; an American flag still flaps in the breeze from its highest point.
But after months of speculation and failed negotiations with one demolition company, the roller coaster will soon be dismantled.
Casino Pier, which owns the Jet Star, tapped Weeks Marine out of Cranford, New Jersey, to handle the removal after it could not reach an agreement with Donjon Marine. Work is expected to begin in roughly two weeks and last 7 days. Demolition of the pier will occur simultaneously.
In the meantime, tourists are still flocking to the Jet Star to snap photos.
“We were wondering how they were coming,” said Judy Planck, who was visiting for the day from her home in Rockland County, New York. She bought a sweatshirt printed with the slogan “Restore the Shore.”
“I hate to see it go,” said Glen Gorga, a tea salesman who came from Toms River to check on the roller coaster and the progress of the boardwalk reconstruction. He remembered riding the roller coaster as a child and said he’d like a have a small piece of metal from the tracks as a souvenir.
Gorga isn’t the only one feeling sentimental – Casino Pier is planning to build a memorial from the Jet Star’s scrap metal.