Rebuilding boardwalks, minus the wood

December 10, 2012 02:30PM

Boardwalks — the stuff of childhood memories from family vacations, site of Snooki’s drunken antics, and source of much revenue for the states of New York and New Jersey — may never be the same post-Sandy, Crain’s reported via the Associated Press. For one thing, some of them won’t be made out of wood.

A number of cities on the Jersey Shore are seeking funds to rebuild their boardwalks in time for the summer tourism season. Some 75 percent of some municipalities’ revenue comes from tourists in the summer months, according to the AP.”You can see how important it is for us to get the boardwalk back up and running, and to make sure we have a summer season,” Bill Akers, the mayor of Seaside Heights, which was particularly badly hit, told the AP. “It’s something we have to get done.” The cost is estimated at between $10 and $12 million.

Nearby, Belmar has the largest projected boardwalk damage bill: $20 million.

But the rebuilt boardwalks will not use the same wood as the boardwalks that were destroyed — that is, if they use wood at all. Many will be built with synthetic materials, as cities work out which quality of building material they can afford.

Some locals say that polymer boardwalks won’t be the same, and wish the cities would rebuild with wood, which is generally less durable. “Under the Polymerwalk” might not have the same ring to it as The Drifters’ 1960s hit “Under The Boardwalk,” the AP noted. [Crain’s via the AP] –Guelda Voien