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Parks Defends Plan for Fake Wood, Concrete Coney Boardwalk

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The Parks Department thinks everyone has the wrong idea about their plan to rebuild Coney Island's historic Riegelmann Boardwalk in concrete, and they're speaking up to defend their choices and set the story straight. Yes, the boardwalk will be rebuilt in concrete but no, it won't be exactly how you're thinking. The plan is this: the boardwalk's center carriage lane will be built in concrete but will be flanked by plastic imitation wood. The department's original plan was to rebuild wholly in concrete, but that morphed to address community concerns and outcry over environmental issues and aesthetics (of which there still is much).

The department pegs the plan's absence of real wood on an unofficial citywide moratorium on building with tropical hardwood, which the boardwalk would require. The department claims that rebuilding the entire 900,000-square-foot boardwalk in tropical wood—the original boardwalk was built with old-growth trees from North America. New growth trees these days just don't hold up as well—would cause 45,200 acres of deforestation which pretty much everyone can agree is not a great thing. The imitation wood will prevent some plastic from flowing into landfills and reportedly has a longer life expectancy.

The Riegelmann Boardwalk will be rebuilt in a style similar to Steeplechase Pier, pictured, which began its transformation in 2011. While much of the community's concern centers around the Parks Department's lack of an environmental impact survey ahead of the rebuilding, they may be sated a bit to know that their beloved beachfront promenade won't be a complete aberration.
· Despite Outrage, Concrete Likely For Coney Island Boardwalk [Curbed]
· City Revives Plan to Concrete-ify Coney Island Boardwalk [Curbed]
· All Coney Island Boardwalk coverage [Curbed]