Never mind about that whole idea to make the Sandy-sunken roller coaster in Seaside Heights a tourist attraction. Although last week the town's mayor, Bill Akers, said it would make a "great" one, this week Akers has taken it back. It "was not the brightest comment," he told reporters. Ya think?
The problems with keeping the semi-submerged Jet Star Roller Coaster in place were pretty clear if you think about it for a bit (just one drunk guy swims up for a ride...), but Akers is happy to spell out a few of the legal problems for you: "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. The whole situation is unfortunate." And so now it looks like the privately-owned coaster will soon be taken to a scrap heap in the sky.
Meanwhile, though the full extent of the damage is still being sorted out, officials are already focusing on getting Seaside's beloved boardwalk back in business by the summer. "Our biggest concern is returning the boardwalk to where it was before the storm," Akers said. “Tourism is the lifeblood of this town. Tourism makes up 75 percent of the budget, while the remaining 25 percent comes from property owners."
Construction on a new boardwalk should begin in January and "be ready by Memorial Day."