Bloomberg, Rockaways residents clash over concrete (or wood) plan for boardwalk

October 16, 2013 01:50PM

As city officials and local residents wrangle over the question of concrete versus wood, a replacement for the Rockaways’ 5.5-mile boardwalk looks unlikely anytime soon. The new boardwalk, considered a centerpiece of a $200 million project to repair the Sandy-damaged Rockaways, will be made of concrete if Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way.

For him and other city officials, including First Deputy Commissioner for the Parks Department Liam Kavanagh, function trumps form, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The new boardwalk would be 7 feet higher than the old wooden one, which spanned from 10 to 15 feet, and would include an 8-inch-thick baffle wall under the boardwalk made of concrete and anchored with steel pilings.

Most area residents, however, would rather restore the boardwalk to its former, wooden form, and are anxious to see it return. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, whose district includes the Rockaways, told the Journal that residents expect the boardwalk to be restored by next summer, though Kavanagh would not give the Journal a firm date. The hope is for the boardwalk to reopen in the summer of 2015, but “I’m hedging,” he told the Journal. [WSJ]Julie Strickland