A very sad day for the roller coasting community has intertwined into the center of one of the largest storms to ever hit the United States of America. Hurricane Sandy has devastated the entire east coast and slammed the economic center of not only the country but of the world. Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the state of New Jersey, which is home to many of the Northeast’s amusement piers. One of those piers has sadly been completely destroyed along with the rides that were on the pier.
According to an article in the Star Ledger, The Seaside Heights amusement pier received significant damage over night as Sandy made landfall. Evidence of how bad the damage was could not be seen until the sun began to rise early this morning. The Star Jet roller coaster was found sitting in the ocean as the pier that once stood on was now completely washed away. Evidence of the battered pier was found washed up 500 yards inland. There are also reports of a log flume and other attractions being swept away or damaged as well. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said in a statement, “the state of New Jersey has lost a remarkable landmark as well as a huge piece of tourism business.”
The Star Jet roller coaster was built in 2002 by the E&F Miller Company and had become a staple for tourists and locals walking the Seaside Heights Casino. Many confuse this coaster with the one that was there before, however the name for that coaster was Jet Star. After Jet Star was scrapped and taken down in 2000, plans for this new coaster arrived and excited the locals and tourist who frequented this part of New Jersey. The coaster has a height of 52 feet and is what many call a mobile steel coaster. One fan of the ride, in a statement to the Star Ledger, stated “The ride reminded him of going to a carnival. It really was like being a kid all over again.”
The Casino Pier where the amusement rides are located has been reported to have lost at least 50 feet of pier and things could be worse than expected. According to the Star Ledger, state inspectors and disaster managers will have the final numbers and estimation in the next few weeks. The northeastern part of the United States is in recovery mode and the loss of the Star Jet is just another sad part of the wrath of Sandy.
Earlier this week, Liseberg theme park in Sweden came forth with a major announcement regarding a huge project moving forward in the park’s near future. That announcement comes in the form of a twisted mess of an amazing new coaster set to open at the park in 2014. Coming in at a cost of €22 million ($28.5 million, 200 million kronor), the new roller coaster will be the biggest investment in the park’s history.
Dubbed Projekt Helix, the new roller coaster will be a product of Mack Rides, utilizing the same launch technology as the blue fire Megacoaster at Europa Park in Germany. CEO and President of Liseberg, Andreas Anderson, explained in BloopLoop’s report the reasoning behind why they chose Mack: “With Mack Rides’ Blue Fire technology, we can offer a ride that has comfort, smoothness, and freedom. You can do almost anything with the track system and we have tried to use that advantage to the limit.”
According to the report from the Goteborg Daily, Projekt Helix will be longer than any other at the park at 4545 feet long (1.4 km), and faster as well at 62 mph (100 kph). Work is beginning shortly on the coaster, with plans to blast off in spring 2014. The ride will sport a green color scheme, helping the coaster blend into the nearby terrain, which from artwork and videos released is something it will utilize heavily. To make room for Projekt Helix, Liseberg will be closing it’s 3-D cinema Maxxima, which opened in 2001.
Twisting overhead and interacting with one of the parks other largest coasters, Lisebergbanan, the new coaster will stand 135 feet tall at its highest point, blast trains through two launches, spiral guests through six inversions, and careen them through countless twists, turns, and airtime filled hills. The six inversions on the coaster will include a two corkscrews, a dive loop-immelman combo (pretzel loop double inversion), zero-g roll, and a barrel roll. Andreas Anderson stated in the press release “it has extra of everything! The ambition is to build a ride which is two minutes of pure fun.”
Construction is set to begin later this autumn after the park closes for the season, with plans to open the ride by the spring of 2014.