Robyn Gassaro from our office took a call about the possibility to move a Roller Coaster at Casino Pier in seaside Heights NJ, she replied no problem we move anything! The Pirates Hideaway roller coaster was in the way for the upcoming expansion that would double the size of the pier and add much larger attractions. If this move went well we would also have the opportunity to move other attractions.
Work quickly began on planning the move , personnel from Casino Pier made all of the electrical disconnects and removed a few sections of the front decorated façade. The rough measurements of the structure are 84’ long and 50’ wide. The structure is made up of three independent pieces. The rear half of the structure is a standard built steel building. The front half is a steel and plastic decorated façade. The interior of the structure houses the free standing roller coaster which is only attached to the wood deck of the boardwalk. Moving all three independent pieces as one was a fun challenge.
Zach Vogel our large projects team leader quickly went to work with his team. Six 55’-60’-14X14 @ 109 pounds per ft. were slid through the structure and served as cross steel. The interior was lined with an array of 4” and 6” steel on top of the cross beams. Brackets were drilled in the steel columns to support the rear section. 6×6 Buckingham wall angles were used throughout fastened with self tapping screws. Everything was clamped together with Buckingham and Armstrong C-clamps, of which there were too many to count. Approximately 200 chains and fasteners were used to suspend the roller coaster frame and for general bracing.
Once the rigging was set the hoses were connected to the 27 New Zealand Kiwi jacks from Chris Ellis. All of our crews use theses jacks daily and are a huge time saver. We connected the jacks to our JSJS 24 jack unified machine. With everything set we pressurized the structure and away she went up. We raised the coaster up four feet on the kiwi jacks and started setting the main beams. The mains were bolt together 40’-12×12 @136 pounds per ft, they were bolted together to make 2-80’ mains.
With the mains in place spacer beams were set between the mains and the cross beams. Once this was completed the coaster was lifted an additional 2 feet on crib jacks. Next 3 rocker beams were clamped in and the dollies were placed. We used two Buckingham power dollies, placed in opposite outside corners, two Holland coaster dollies and two shop built coaster dollies. The power unit was placed on the coaster it was our Buckingham BU-173.
The Coaster was driven to the new location making an S -turn and rotated 90 degrees all with the wireless remote. Moving a structure of this size on a wood boardwalk was very interesting , it creeks and cracks and talks to you the whole way ! Anthony Belifiglio 11, Devin DeVooght 9, Evi Devooght 10, and Tennyson DeVooght 8 all drove the structure for a little ways. Its Fun having the kids out for these fun moves. Once in place the process the coaster had to sit in place while the engineers were signing off on the location. About a month later we returned for final placement and the process was reversed and set down and bolted to the boardwalk.
The next challenge was to move the bumper cars. The Construction team at the pier removed the cars and the steel floor of the bumper cars prior to us starting. We were able to transfer our equipment from the Roller Coaster to the Bumper cars. Two 60’-14×14 @ 109 pounds per ft. were set on the outside as mains. With the mains set the four dollies were also placed at this time as we would be using the dollies to both lift and drive the structure. On top of the mains 4-60’-14×14 @109 pounds per ft. A combination on various 8” and 10” steel was also used. The Four corner posts were connected to the cross beams with wrap around chains. The rest of the structure was supported with suspended chains from the cross beams. The BU-173 was mounted on top of the structure, the hoses were set and we were ready to lift.
The lifting process was pretty simple, we zoned the front two dollies together and lifted as a three point method. The total lift height was 8” once lifted we powered the dollies and moved the bumper cars out of the way for a small part of the boardwalk deck to be replaced, once this work was completed we returned to move into the new location. Each of the four dollies used are equipped with hydraulic steering, we steered each one independently. Steering and driving are pretty easy when you are walking around with a remote control. A 20’ long 7’ tall track of cribbing needed to be built on an uncompleted section of the boardwalk, prior to us driving in place.
We drove the bumper cars in place at the final location and set it down with the hydraulic in the dollies. The next day we returned to remove all of the equipment. This was a fun project for all of us, as many of our team have spent a lot of family time at Casino Pier.
With the completion of the rides being moved we were still not finished. Since that time we have done shoring under the boardwalk every time large equipment is moved in for the expansion project. Everyone there has been great to work with and we have created another long term customer. Our whole team was involved in this project from office, yard and operations and we would like to thank our team!