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Coney Island dismantles tower, reopens other rides

  • Article by: JON GERBERG
  • Associated Press
  • July 5, 2013 - 3:00 PM

NEW YORK — Coney Island's swaying tower is now a shrinking tower.

Crews working to dismantle the Astrotower have reduced the 275-foot tower to 145 feet tall, and demolition crews using huge cranes planned to take down another 27-foot section Friday, said Chris Miller, a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management.

The noticeable swaying of the nearly half-century-old observation tower, which hasn't carried passengers for years, led to a shutdown Tuesday of a two-block section of the surrounding Luna Park amusement park. The area includes the iconic Wonder Wheel and Cyclone roller coaster, as well as the nearby boardwalk.

Those closures remained in effect through most of the busy Fourth of July holiday but were lifted entirely Friday afternoon, much to the relief of merchants and ride operators who had worked for months to restore Coney Island from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Luna Park spokesman Tom Basgil said he didn't know whether the tower would be completely removed or be restored.

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