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A concrete Boardwalk? Call it the Riegelmann Sidewalk in Coney

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Is Coney Island’s famed Boardwalk becoming a sidewalk?

The city is now replacing the wood planks on the Riegelmann Boardwalk with large concrete slabs from Ocean Parkway to Brighton First Road.

“It’s not going to look like wood at all,” admitted Martin Maher, chief of staff of Brooklyn Parks.

The slabs will have a tan hue and be textured to resemble pebbles and sand, said John Natoli, the Parks Department’s chief engineer.

He added that concrete will be more durable than wood and last “100 years instead of 30 or 40 years” — but fans of the classic wood planks were having none of it.

“Not only is it going to be ugly, it’s going to be unbearably hot,” said Brighton Beach resident Ida Sanoff. “People are not going to be able to walk barefoot over that. They’re going to burn their feet.”

Others said it’s not a boardwalk without the boards.

“It’s not supposed to be a concrete walk,” said Marion Cleaver, chairwoman of Community Board 13.

The traditional wood planks will be a key component on the Boardwalk near the amusement area, from West 10th Street to Stillwell Avenue.

After the summer, Parks will examine the wear and tear on the Boardwalk to determine which materials — the concrete in Brighton Beach, the wood by the amusements or some synthetic lumber planks on Steeplechase Pier — hold up best.

That material will be used if additional portions of the Boardwalk are replaced.

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Reader Feedback

Chazz from Au says:
Please tell me this is a joke.
April 21, 2010, 12:12 am
Bob from Kensington says:
How does such a change happen without any public disclosure before the decision is made?
April 21, 2010, 8:36 am
mike from GP says:
this is ridiculous. the City is hemorrhaging money and yet the criminals at Goldman Sachs are making billions.
April 21, 2010, 8:55 am
jerry from brighton beach says:
I betcha the people who gave us the Great Lighting experiencce of the Parachute Jump are the same people who are giving us the Great Concrete Walkway. BP Marty Markowitz must have recommended the consultants.There is one question : Why hasn't BP Marty Markowitz spoken out against the way this job is being done. I guess he's with Parks Dept. all the Way !
April 21, 2010, 10:15 am
liam from kensington says:
go to Jacob Riis park in Rockaway to see how well that "100 year" concrete turned out. ugh
April 21, 2010, 10:42 am
dave from carroll garden says:
what is wrong with you people. It'ss the base for the new permanent boardwalk. If you even look at the picture you can see that the existing walk is raised higher. This paper is pure shoddy journalism at best.
April 21, 2010, 7:07 pm
Eddie Mazz from Bay Ridge says:
I was there today, some kind of wood like material is being placed over the concrete. Please update your story...
April 21, 2010, 11:01 pm
SheepsheadBites.com from Sheepshead Bay says:
Strangely, the state has been refusing to permit the addition of a bike path (which is already funded) adjacent to the boardwalk because they fear a concrete path would destroy the beach. And yet...
April 21, 2010, 11:19 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
Why not use that recycled plastic that looks like wood. No rot, no paint, no salt sensitivity, no electrical conduction, light weight, flexible.
April 22, 2010, 7:57 pm
Sanya from Park Slope says:
Not a concrete boardwalk by any stretch of the imagination (thankfully!) - just a substrate for a new decking system... (synthetic lumber planks)
April 26, 2010, 7:19 am
carol from canarsie says:
coney island will never be the same if they put cement instead of wood, then it wouldn't be the Boardwalk anymore. Coney Island is a landmark and it shouldn't be changed in any way, shape or form.
April 29, 2010, 11:02 pm
Russell from UWS Manhattan says:
So it'll LOOK and FEEL like a parking lot. Oh, that's brilliant. Just brilliant.
May 10, 2010, 10:04 pm
Roslyn Bernstein from New York City says:
If you would like to read about old-fashioned wooden boardwalks, do check out my collection of 14-linked tales, Boardwalk Stories, www.blueeftpress.com. Set in the shadow of the Cold War, the boardwalk characters, many of them misfits and wannabes, share their joys and sorrows in a world where kewpie dolls and prizes are often the only consolations for lost dreams. The final story of the collection, "Splinters" illuminates the power of the wooden planks, splinters and all.
May 23, 2010, 8:26 am
Lou from Brighton Beach says:
Let me understand this: The rough cement-like material being laid between ocean pkway and brighton 1st is an experiment, as is the work being done with different material near 35th street?
and then they'll decide which "finish" is wearing well?
I have to agree with Jerry, this is as forward-looking(Not!) as the "Eiffel Tower"of Coney Island the Parachute Jump was supposed to be (Markowitz's words) The Parachute looks like a dim xmas tree that has seen its best days. Laughable, pathetic use of our tax money.
Aug. 10, 2010, 2:19 pm
Lou from Brighton Beach says:
by the way, the rough surface is not a sub-strata, otherwise it wouldn't be manufactured to look like natural material. that WILL BE the surface!
Aug. 10, 2010, 2:21 pm
Alan from Brighton/Coney says:
I just rode my bike there today and it looks like the concrete won the "wear test" as they pulled up all the new synthetic boards in favor of the hideous concrete. this is outrageous!
Oct. 16, 2010, 6:31 pm

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