Activists yesterday charged that a controversial city plan to pave much of Coney Island’s fabled wooden board with concrete is literally crumbling, according to the New York Post.
Todd Dobrin, president of the grass-roots group Friends of the Boardwalk, said there’s already “well over 2,000 cracks” in the first two sections of the 2.5-mile Riegelmann Boardwalk that were replaced with concrete last year. And some of these sections, which total seven blocks in parts of Coney Island near Seagate and Brighton Beach near Ocean Parkway, are mysteriously even turning brown in color.
“This boardwalk is literally falling apart,” he said. “It’s cracking, peeling and isn’t good for joggers and walkers.”
Armed with photos and other evidence – including pieces of the concrete that have already broken off– Dobrin and other activists attended yesterday’s city Design Commission meeting to try convincing the Commission to reject a $10 million Parks Department pilot plan to cover other parts of the boardwalk in cement. The Commission opted to delay its vote until Oct. 24.
Parks Department spokeswoman Vickie Karp later said the existing concrete boardwalk sections are “structurally sound” and that the “minor hairline cracks" there "pose no safety issues.”
She said the Department would monitor the situation.
The proposed pilot project – which was rejected on an advisory level by Brooklyn Community Board 13 in May – calls for running a 12-foot-wide concrete path for emergency vehicles through a five-block area of the boardwalk near Coney Island Avenue in Brighton Beach. The path would take up 20 percent on the boardwalk area with the rest being artificial wood plank.
As more funding becomes available, officials hope to replace the rest of the boardwalk the same way—-except the historic Coney Island amusement district, which would remain all wood.
A broken-off piece of concrete from another section of the boardwalk. Although installed just a year ago concrete from the Coney Island Boardwalk has once again raised public safety, design environmental as well as cost concerns. In addition to the concrete chunks found, thousands of cracks have also appeared. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates)
Negligence. For decades the City has refused to allocate adequate funds to maintain the historic boardwalk. Each year multiple lawsuits are filed against the city for injuries as a result. The City is using borrowed capital funds to deal with a lack of maintenance funds which has resulted in the use of concrete.