More erosion under cement boardwalks than wood, advocates say

Coney faithful: Sandy ran wild over cement Boardwalk

The Brooklyn Paper
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Hurricane Sandy caused a lot of damage in Coney Island, but it also proved Boardwalk advocates’ claims that wood is good — especially during major storms.

Opponents of a city plan to convert all but four blocks of the iconic promenade to plastic lumber and concrete said more sand was lost under the stretch of cement walk near SeaBreeze Avenue than under the traditional wooden Boardwalk — just as they predicted.

“The storm, which was very unfortunate, has proven to be a great tool,” said Brighton Beach activist Ida Sanoff, who co-signed a lawsuit against the Parks Department for not conducting a full study on the environmental impacts the cement Boardwalk would have. “We’ve said that from day one that the impact of storm surges on the concrete should be evaluated.”

Sanoff said sand piled up under and on top of the old timber section of the walkway when Hurricane Sandy hit — but the concrete surface barely has a grain of grit on it.

But there isn’t any sand under the concrete walkway either, Sanoff explained.

“Why is there such a sharp distinction there?” said Sanoff, suggesting that the wooden footpath slowed down rushing waves, allowing sand to settle underneath. “Obviously something different is happening when the surge hits concrete and when it hits wood. Where are the studies?”

Friends of the Boardwalk President Todd Dobrin, who is also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city, said the slatted wooden Boardwalk filters seawater as it retreats, letting sand build up on top and underneath. The concrete Boardwalk doesn’t work that way, leaving huge dunes to be deposited on the street behind it.

“The concrete doesn’t allow the water to drain,” Dobrin said. “The water washed over it and right onto Ocean Parkway. The proof is all over Ocean Parkway.”

Yet many have dismissed such claims — as well as allegations that beach erosion would increase if a concrete Boardwalk is installed.

“This has nothing to do with erosion,” said Judge Martin Solomon, who refused to hear arguments about beach erosion from the pro-wood side during a recent court hearing. Solomon suggested that jutting rock groins would do more for stopping erosion than a wooden Boardwalk.

“I battled erosion on those beaches for years,” he said.

Updated 5:37 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Or from Yellow Hook says:
Gosh! Wood gives? And it flexes? Who knew?

But the concrete boardwalk is maintenence free and will last forever!

Once again, the "I've got a better idea' crowd fixed something that wasn't broken.

Then again, there were people killed by falling trees during and after Sandy.

Maybe Mayor for Life Mike should rethink his Million Trees policy. Howmany leaves are on a million trees and do they end up in storm drains?
Nov. 8, 2012, 9:12 am
ty from pps says:
Or -- Glad your reading comprehension is sooooo top notch. Is there any mention of the concrete boardwalk being damaged?

Oh, wait. You just read the BP's typically misleading headline on the home page and went ahead with your comment, right? No need to actually read the words.

And the rest of your comment is childish.
Nov. 8, 2012, 10:07 am
Rumpled Foreskin from Greenpoint says:
What's a cement boardwalk?

Sidewalks are made of concrete. Cement is what holds things together.

Cement and conrete are not the same thing.
Nov. 8, 2012, 4:50 pm
Pat Reardon says:
Consider this. If the boardwalk in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights NJ was made of concrete instead of wood, there would still be a boardwalk and these towns would not have been devasted by the recent fire. The wooden boardwalk fed the fire and turned what should have been a fire that could have been limited to the building of origin into a conglagration. The simple fact is that CONCRETE DOES NOT BURN!!!!!
Sept. 21, 2013, 12:03 am
Enid Barry from Coney Island says:
It would be a travesty not to maintain the ambience of happy days in Coney Island. The "Boards"must be saved for future generations
Dec. 19, 2014, 11:47 am

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