2012-12-21 / Top Stories

Court Approves Plastic Boardwalk

By Howard Schwach

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited The Wave shortly after it reopened at the end of last month, he told us that any repairs to the iconic Rockaway boardwalk would be made in concrete or some sort of composite plastic material.

The story was picked up by every major daily newspaper and many television outlets as well.

Many Rockaway residents agree with the change for both fiscal and ecological reasons.

The people of Coney Island, however, want to retain a wooden boardwalk in that community, and activists went to court to force the city to repair the boardwalk with the same wood from the Amazon Rainforest it has used for decades.

And, they lost.

A judge ruled last week that the Department of Parks and Recreation can move ahead on its plan to replace five blocks of the wooden boardwalk in Brooklyn with concrete and plastic planks.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long wanted to replace the hardwood in the boardwalks with more durable and environmentally friendly materials, like concrete and plastic composites.

City Parks officials say concrete sections of boardwalk in the Rockaways and Coney Island held up much better during Superstorm Sandy.

Advocacy groups had filed a lawsuit to stop the plan, claiming it was not subjected to the necessary state and city environmental review.

Officials say that the Rockaway boardwalk, which was virtually destroyed on the west end of the peninsula, will probably not be rebuilt for the coming summer season, but that portions in the area of the food concessions might well be propped up for the season.

In addition, food trucks might replace those concessions for this summer season.

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