Not only is the city installing controversial concrete slabs on Coney Island’s boardwalk, it’s taking too long to do it.
The sections where work is being done — in Brighton Beach between Ocean Parkway and Brighton First Road and in front of the amusement rides from West 10th Street to Stillwell Avenue — are encased by chain-link fences and have been narrowed to half their size.
“If we have the crowds that we are anticipating, this will definitely be a problem,” said Todd Dobrin, chair of the Coney Island Friends of the Boardwalk. “There are only so many people you can fit between the fence and the railing, especially near the amusement area. That place will be a hazard.”
Cold weather stalled the project, according to Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson.
“We try to do as much work as we can during the winter months but are restricted by severe weather conditions, especially as this project is right by the waterfront,” he said.
Although signs are posted on the boardwalk indicating that the work won’t be completed until the fall, Abramson told this paper that the bulk of the project will be completed in time for Coney Island’s busy summer season. The section by the amusements should open by Memorial Day weekend but the Brighton Beach portion may take longer, he said.
“We’re working to expedite its completion and hope to also have it done by Memorial Day weekend, but it should be done no later than mid-summer at worst,” he said.
Parks staffers better get a move on it, said Community Board 13 Chair Marion Cleaver.
“I understand that it was not a great winter so I’m sure they had trouble scheduling the work, but I’m kind of upset about this,” she said. “It’s ironic that the mayor is pushing the new Coney Island and how great it’s going to be and yet we have to deal with the work not being done on the boardwalk in a timely fashion.”