Part of the iconic Astrotower at Coney Island will have to be demolished, after concerns about the tower’s structural stability prompted a shutdown of several amusements on the Brooklyn peninsula that have lasted two days.
Sources told CBS 2 the NYPD was to escort two massive cranes to Luna Park on Wednesday night. Partial demolition of the tower was to begin immediately. Crews were to work throughout the night in hopes of reopening the park for the Fourth of July Thursday.
The Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster , the Wonder Wheel and some other famed New York amusements have been shut down since Tuesday afternoon.
The FDNY, the Office of Emergency Management and engineers from the Buildings Department continued to inspect the Astrotower on Wednesday. But before demolition was discussed, some seemed to think the nearly 50-year-old structure was soon just to be a Coney Island memory.
“So what we wanted to do is to decide and figure out what it is that it can tolerate for sway or movement and then base it on data,” LiMandri said.
A 250-foot “collapse zone” has been set up around the tower, WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reported. The radius includes the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone roller coaster – both of which are operated separately from Luna Park – as well as parts of the Coney Island boardwalk.
As 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported, it was common knowledge for years that the Astrotower sways back and forth. But LiMandri said the sway is more than usual, and it just not safe enough to keep the surrounding area of Luna Park open.
LiMandri warned Wednesday afternoon that the tower might have to come down, at least in part.
“What we’ve been able to do anecdotally, and now with some raw data, is to determine that it’s approaching a position where it’s too much sway,” he said. “Therefore, we need to take some action.”
The tower used to have a circular elevator, which was recently removed. LiMandri said the removal affected its stability.
Read more at 1010 WINS NY.