Casino Pier expansion nearly finished in Seaside Heights

The project to expand Casino Pier in Seaside Heights is nearly complete, with the focus now on building new amusements.

The pier is now 225 feet wider after a land swap deal with the municipality. Construction crews spent most of the winter expanding the pier.

"We're very excited to have everything open and bring happiness back and bring excitement back to the Jersey Shore," says Casino Pier's Kenny Taylor.

The construction effort will now focus on installing rides and other attractions. The main attraction will be the Hydrus Roller Coaster, a tribute to the iconic Jet Star coaster that was lost during Superstorm Sandy.

"Actually a Hydrus is a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere, so it's an ode to the Jet Star," Taylor says.

The other big attraction is expected to be the new Ferris wheel. Crews have already installed the concrete footings. It will soar 131 feet in the air once it is complete.

Some Seaside Heights residents say they are excited for the new pier to open.

"It used to be so lively here. It's definitely going to pick it up. I wanna ride this roller coaster," says Pamela Moench.

"Rebuilding the pier kind of gives it the skyline again. When you come over the bridge you see it," Jessica Parker says. "I think that's a good highlight of the town. I think it's a great expansion."

The owners say the plan is to have everything installed and running by Easter.

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