Last year, the city announced plans to massively renovate the Coney Island Boardwalk because of years of damage and disrepair, and began replacing the classic wood planks on Riegelmann Boardwalk with slabs of concrete. Locals were up in arms about the changes, but officials touted the durability of the new material. But as Sheepshead Bites points out, could it really be called "durable" when it's already cracking?
The 300-foot segment of the Boardwalk between Ocean parkway and Brighton 1st Road has already developed numerous hairline cracks, as well as easy-to-spot gum marks, since being laid down last year. The degradation of the concretewalk flies in the face of the Parks Department's arguments in favor of concrete (over other options such as natural wood and recycled plastic lumber): “Concrete is less expensive to use, can last decades rather than up to 10 years, and requires virtually no maintenance. It is significantly more effective than the other choices,” Parks Spokesperson Meghan Lalor said last fall. (We reached out to the Parks Department for an explanation on the current state of the concretewalk, and will update if we hear back.)
In the spring, the Parks Department announced a slightly tweaked plan for the area—they said they wanted to place a strip of concrete down the middle of the Boardwalk with imitation wood on either side, from Brighton 15th St. to Coney Island Ave, to try to keep some of the spirit of the old Boardwalk alive. Residents complained that the city was more interested in having vehicles on the Boardwalk rather than the actual visitors. And without the visitors, how will it ever become the worlds biggest barrel of fun again?