Kudos to Jack & City Council for acting fast with Boardwalk removal

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At the December 18th City Council meeting, one of the items on the agenda was the hiring of boardwalk removers:

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With the proceedings, as reported by Newsday in an article titled Long Beach to begin demolition of damaged boardwalk:

“The city council on Tuesday selected a Farmingdale firm to do the job for $1.435 million. The cost of replacing the entire 2.2-mile boardwalk fronting the Atlantic Ocean is expected to be about $25 million, officials have said.

A city council resolution described the boardwalk — favored by morning joggers, midday walkers and weekend day-trippers — as “beloved and iconic,” but also “unsafe and no longer viable.”

“We’re looking at the boardwalk as a top priority,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said. “That’s why we expedited the demolition to start as soon as possible.”

Full article @ Newsday: Long Beach to begin demolition of damaged boardwalk

This is a great step towards boardwalk rebuild. I’m hearing people wonder why we can’t just repair the broken sections, but our boardwalk was due for a complete makeover anyway. This the only way to go. The sooner it’s gone, the sooner it can be rebuilt. Kudos to City Manager Jack Schnirman & City Council for acting so fast on this. Now what can we do with all this wood? Can we build something symbolic with it? Symbolic Benches? A symbolic gazebo? Symbolic picnic tables? I can’t think of anything else that can be made out of 2x4s… Any symbolic ideas?

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16 thoughts on “Kudos to Jack & City Council for acting fast with Boardwalk removal”

  1. Considering the amount of previous posts about the problem with wood and its sustainability, maybe wood isn’t the best material to be used for a new boardwalk. With that said, as a runner, concrete, obviously wouldn’t be ideal. It’s almost 2013 not 1914 (when the boardwalk was built, with the help of ELEPHANTS). Let the LB Government be progressive, use an all-weather synthetic material, for wide enough running lanes and determine the best sustainable material for biking and walking. Maybe the synthetic plastic material, which makes up the western ramp on National BLVD, that survived Sandy.

  2. I’m totally aware of the shortcomings of wood and would be more than happy with synthetic or a number of alternatives. I hope that all of the options are being examined. But concrete would just make me sad.

  3. Cement is the way to go !!!! The only section of boardwalk that survived in the Rockaways was the Cement part ! There was no damage at all to the Cement section, which begins at about B70th street.
    Before you all start crying about putting cement in –you should go look at the one in Rockaway!
    It dosen’t even look like cement–and if it couild with stand another storm like sandy ! PUT the Cement in !
    Like I said the only section that Survived , was the Cement–sweep the sand off and your ready to go !!
    Go Look for yourself !!!
    P.S. No More loose Boards & flat tires also –and a nice smooth ride
    Run on the Beach if you don’t like Cement !! 🙂

  4. Is the wood just going to be dumped? i want to build someting out of it! maybe a bar in my yard (yes hard to believe i have a small yard in the west end! hahaha

  5. obviously wood is not a smart way to go forward. a concrete boardwalk/bulkhead topped with nice pavers designating bike lanes and walk lanes. it does two things, gives you a pretty boardwalk, and it acts as a seawall. ok maybe you can have the concrete seawall topped with recycled plastic boards. but either way the foundation needs to be solid concrete. not just something that allows the ocean to come under it every year.

  6. The problem with a sea wall concept is that you need to the ring all of Long Beach (otherwise the water will just go around) and once the wall is breached, the water won’t just leave when the next storm surge is over. Town, not just your basement, will be completely underwater until the entire town is pumped out. The sea wall ringing LB will act like a giant bowl of sea water and sewage a la Katrina.

    Unless you want to build a sea wall that rings the entire town and has a gate system on every block that can be opened and closed (without using the power grid!) to allow water to leave should the wall be breached.

    Sorry, but that sounds even more expensive than dunes and some wooden planks, not to mention the “bowl effect”.

  7. Those interested in seeing what a possible sea wall would look like (hint, it wouldn’t involve putting up a fifteen foot concrete wall and putting a pathway on top of it where the boardwalk is), check out NatGeo’s Megastrcture episode on the North Sea Wall:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAoPphN4TOU

    You can see a fairly representative photo here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oosterscheldekering-pohled.jpg

    And the wikipedia article here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oosterscheldekering

    Even the video of of the Arcadis proposal for NYC is not merely a tall wall ringing Manhattan where the land meets the sea:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjdkRk51VUw

    … though their wall would be tricky in that it must open and close for shipping traffic.

    So if Long Beach were to have a sea wall built, would it extend from the western point of Jones Beach and go past PLO, LB, AB and end at the Rockaways somewhere? Would NYC want the Long Beach Island sea wall to extend further west? How far? JFK? All of Queens? Brooklyn? Span the Lower Bay? All the way to Jersey? Would they want to be behind it instead of merely beside it?

    Hypothetically, a wall (the ends of which would have to be determined, do we just wall off the entire north east?) is now built. It was somehow paid for AND the morons who complains about seeing windmills off the coast to generate power were somehow convinced that a wall miles long was OK. Great. Now what do we do with the boardwalk. Keep it a boardwalk?

  8. Most lumber comes from trees that are FARMED. I.E grown in a systematic way with the intent to eventually cut them down for wood and paper, those areas are replanted almost immediately. The land is managed in 5, 10, 15, or 20 year rotations cycles DEPENDING on the type of wood.

    Wood is FAR more sustainable and ecologically friendly than non-biodegradable plastic.

  9. I have to agree with Larry, what landfill will all of the non-organic materials be shipped to when we find that its finally time to replace that? I was an ecology major in college, and everything I’ve seen or read about the modern lumber industry points to the fact that its highly regulated and had to shift to a farming-based, sustainable model based around careful land management, and periodic replanting back in the 1960s, if nothing but for its own survival. If they didn’t we’d have long since run out of wood to build anything with by now.

  10. Lets discuss sustainability, while living in a municipality. I’m all for doing, what is environmentally best, while financially making sense, as I expect to live in LB for a long long time. LB needs to take advantage of building materials and installation, with funds from FEMA, that won’t require the city to spend current or future tax dollars on properly maintaining the boardwalk. We can learn from past mistakes and its clear, too much in taxes dollars was needed to maintain a wooden boardwalk, so much so, citizens united to assist the city in maintenance. Lets hope LB leadership take advantage of this situation by re-building a Long Beach thats not only better than it was, but far less expensive to manage.

  11. I am very concerned that the city rushed to demolish the whole structure ( does this include the concrete underpinnings, which appear to be basically sound, and very costly to replace? ) without a plan and a timetable for rebuilding it. I foresee protracted discussions with ACOE, infighting among residents and the surf community, and a lack of qualified engineers working for the city to make sound decisions and 5 years down the road we’ll all be saying “Remember when we had a boardwalk?” While the damaged structure remains it is an incentive to get it repaired/replaced. Once it is down it becomes too easy to relegate to out of sight, out of mind.

    If the city had used more suitable wood than the treated yellow pine (a soft wood) and had screwed rather than nailing the boards, far less maintenance would have been required. Both the Coney Island and Jones Beach boardwalks used South American hardwoods.

    NJ had many boardwalks damaged but they all expect to be operational by summer and seem less costly than ours. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/05/superstorm-sandy-boardwalk-reconstruction/1748571/

    Perhaps we need to take a page from Belmar’s plan and sell boardwalk planks to offset part of the costs.

    One thing is absolutely certain – politicians come and go but the boardwalk is part of Long Beach’s identity and too important to treat casually.

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