Southern Brooklyn

Parks: Coney Island Boardwalk Will Be Concrete


After a season of testing different materials to replace planks on the iconic wooden boardwalk at Coney Island, the Parks Department determined that concrete is the best alternative.

City officials made the announcement at Wednesday’s Community Board 13 meeting that cement fared better than a “faux-wood” plastic lumber material during the summer season, when both materials were in place.

Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey said the material costs less, is not slippery, is easier to repair and is less likely to break or rot than its alternatives.

But residents are outraged at the decision.

“This is an absolute disgrace. Having the boardwalk is a plus for this community — it’s historic,” Ruby Schultz told the Brooklyn Paper. “And you’re going to turn it into a sidewalk?”

Comment policy


  1. If cost is an issue just rip it up and let people walk on the sand. Very little maintenace cost. If people want to wear shoes let them walk on the street.

  2. This is just insane. How do you do a test and determine that concrete holds up the best when it was never even used?

    The first section of the concrete boardwalk near Ocean Parkway just opened a day or two ago for passenger traffic. How could they possibly determine that it holds up the best? Any valid test would have to have it being in use for a year to make a determination. We need to see how it holds up during the winter months as well as the summer months. Are they going to salt it after snow storms to keep it clear? Or will people slip and fall like crazy? Where are the drains for the water to go from the melting ice? The boardwalk didn’t need any. Will the standing water between piles of snow just refreeze? How will it look after a few months of black gum sticking to the sand colored surface. (Wood doesn’t have that problem because it darkens with age.)

    They never intended to give the other surfaces a fair test and immediately concluded they wanted concrete. Does our new Parks Commissioner agree with this decision? Obviously yes. Where are our elected officials when we need them? How many will speak out on this issue? This is an outrage.

    Ned, better go out tomorrow and take a picture while it still looks great? It won’t look good for that long. My friend who has a bad heart is already complaining that it is more difficult to walk on because there is no give. What about all the runners who use the boardwalk? How do they feel about it? Don’t people have to be surveyed for their opinions?

    This is Bloomberg for you. I’m doing what I want and you don’t matter. This mayor who is so concerned about our health and wants to pass laws so we have to pay more or not be allowed to smoke, drink soda or use salt, just laughed at the recent study that showed noise levels are too high and unhealthy for us. He said the study was ridiculous. Why? Because he can’t figure out how to make money from the noise or doesn’t want to punish the big corporations responsible for much of the noise. So he goes after the little guy who just wants a smoke or a drink. Now he has determined what is best for our feet.

  3. Sand is even safer than concrete. Better yet keep away from the beach altogether unless you plan to go into the water. Walking near the water you are subject to bird droppings from the sky, excessive UV reflections off the water, corrosive salt that eats shoe leather and higher wind speeds that feel very uncomfortable. Fire is always a threat. Compare the number of house fires vs. fires on boardwalks so should all homes be constructed entirely of concrete?

  4. Well if you are bare foot you will be dancing on concrete. This is a total desaster wasted money, payrolls & time. Yes the boardwalk is like the old days but that wood lasted better then any other wood or plastic. It’s what things are made of today. This is going on for 2 summers already why because there are to many hands in the soup.

  5. Actually the temperature is the least of the concrete’s problem. It’s quite walkable in Manhattan Beach, but here we are talking about something that is three miles long with many people walking or running a mile or more on it.

    If they periodically repaired the loose boards like they should instead of waiting for entire sections to go bad before replacing it, the boardwalk could last much longer. Even the synthetic is better than the concrete.

  6. Wait a minute…some times it takes me awhile to think (long while)but……
    does the pic show concrete slabs being layered over wood planks layered over shifting sand? Yes, it will last for a period of time before sand replacement is needed to support the structure. Is it worth it?

  7. Nothing like the feel of natural hot concrete soaking up the summer sun to cool you off. Coney Island concretewalk. Great

  8. try walking on that when its 100 out… or when its going to snow and it’ll ice up… WTF is wrong with Brooklyn that they are doing this?

  9. Far as I know the Go-Karts were not landmarked. Neither is the Boardwalk. That said the Boardwalk, as a planked walkway is part of what defines Coney Island. But you see, that’s the old definition. The new definition of Coney Island is a ultra-modern playground for the well-heeled. Well-heeled people never take off their shoes. And they certainly don’t want to walk on the “people
    s boardwalk”. So, make it look like any other sidewalk and maybe the “people” will go away.

  10. Are they still going to call it the boardwalk… while its made of concrete? SMH

    The only positive I can think of is that woman’s high heels will longer get stuck in there, but that’s hardly worth it.

  11. It isn’t Brooklyn, its our dictatorial mayor. At least when the MTA tests new flooring tile, they put in a small section and evaluate it after it has been walked on for six months. Here the City concluded the test before it actually was even used. We must make sure he doesn’t get away with this.

  12. The problem here is the damn fools making these idiotic decisions. Let’s round ’em all up and use them as targets for Shoot the Freak. Oh yeah, I forgot, that’s gonna be gone soon too! – sad – sad – sad. Coney Island R.I.P.

  13. The damn fool is Mayor Bloomberg where money is the bottom line and nothing else matters. That’s how he got where he is today. Even Donald Trump has other values. He did rebuild the Central Park Ice skating rink after the City was bickering for years. He even agreed to do it without putting his name on the rink so the guy can’t be all bad. I absolutely have nothing good to say about our current mayor.

  14. Maybe we can get Donald to foot the difference for a real boardwalk? Just a thought. Does he read Sheepsheadbites?

  15. Good idea. Mr. Donald, you are from Brooklyn. When you were younger and walking around Trump Village I am sure you used the Beaches also.
    Help keep the Coney Island Boardwalk made of board. PPLLLLLEEEEEEAASSEEEE

  16. The problem is the Parks Dept. and NYPD. If they would keep their trucks and cars off the Boardwalk then the boards wouldn’t break!

  17. Sounds like someone is good friends with a concrete comp. Three simple reasons against this stupid but not surprising decision.
    1) If you fall on concrete its much different than falling on wood. Think of all the seniors and kids that walk the walk.
    2) Concrete does not perform structurely like wood. There is no give and when one crack forms its a matter of time before serious accident. Wood had give and will not break from under you.
    3) How about cost of maintenance. If a plant breaks you can just get new one with out any machinery. These silly huge section will not only require massive flat bed trucks to deliver, but skilled $$$ workers to install.
    I dont get it. Has the world gone made. Concretewalk really.

  18. Correct. There are too many unnecessary vehicles on the boardwalk. The only trucks that are necessary are the ones that are used to pick up the garbage.

  19. It’s been 10 years since the parks dept did any regular maintenance of the boardwalk. They allowed it to get into the condition it is now so enough people complained about it. It gave them the perfect excuse to turn it into a sidewalk.

  20. You should also take a look at how Bryant Park has become a commercialized haven. It’s no longer a peaceful lunchtime spot for sitting under the trees in midtown. It’s a cluttered cacophony of commerce. Imagine Astroturf in a city park? Yuck!

    It’s not a BOARDwalk anymore and shouldn’t be called as such. In fact a suit should be filed to prohibit the City from using such a term to describe it.

  21. […] Replacing the Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk with concrete, although the favored material, is not a done deal, according to the new Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey. To prove that point, he sent one of his engineers to a November 16 meeting held at the Aquarium sponsored by Rainforest Relief to learn about two viable alternatives to concrete: Recycled Plastic Lumber also known as Polywood, and Kebony, a process created in Norway where the properties of sustainable wood are enhanced. […]

  22. walked that way yesterday from West 37th street to West 16th and the concrete is already down by West 37 th street. Must say anyone who times this is a bad idea needs to go check it out. Absolutely beautiful, Job well done.

  23. This is rediculous – a boardwalk made of concrete. I was hoping they would change their mind about that. If they have to f**k up the boardwalk, I hope that they will maintain it properly – but I doubt that they will.

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