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Coney Island Cyclone and Wonder Wheel Reopen After AstroTower Demolition

By Mathew Katz | July 3, 2013 6:37pm | Updated on July 4, 2013 3:46pm
  The area around the tower was shut down Tuesday after reports that it was swaying.
Coney Island Reopens After AstroTower Partially Demolished, Officials Say
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CONEY ISLAND — Thrill-seekers were back in action on the Fourth of July — after an emergency demolition of an unstable AstroTower allowed Coney Island's iconic rides to reopen midday Thursday.

The Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel reopened to visitors at 2 p.m. Thursday for the first time since the area around the 275-foot AstroTower was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after reports the ride was swaying from side to side, amusement park management confirmed.

"The Cyclone is open and so is Luna Park!" Luna Park officials posted on their Facebook page just before 3 p.m. Thursday, along with a photo of the first batch of intrepid roller-coaster fans.

A spokeswoman for the Wonder Wheel confirmed Thursday afternoon that they were open for business.

Officials said "teams worked through the night and this morning in order to have an opportunity to open to the public."

The Scream Zone at Luna Park, the Coney Island Raceway and the B&B Carousel were not affected, officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings said Wednesday it was working with Luna Park on a plan for the partial demolition of the tower. Crews worked Wednesday to bring the defunct fun ride down, and on Thursday, a crane remained near the tower.

Built in 1964, the tower once allowed visitors to have a sweeping view of Brooklyn and the ocean. The tower has not been in operation in since 2007.

All planned Fourth of July activities — including the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest — were able to continue as planned.