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Heated Debate Over Proposed Coney Island Boardwalk Makeover

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The Coney Island Boardwalk (credit:Friends Of The Boardwalk)

The Coney Island Boardwalk (credit:Friends Of The Boardwalk)

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NEW YORK (AP/CBSNewYork)¬†– New York City’s Coney Island boardwalk may be getting a makeover, from wood to plastic.

The New York Times reports  that the city parks department is proposing to replace stretches of the aging, 2.7-mile boardwalk with a combination of concrete and a type of recycled plastic that looks like wood.

Rob Burstein, chairman of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance, says the plan would amount to “putting a piece of plastic into a diamond ring.”

But aesthetics aren’t the only reason that some people oppose the project, Todd Dobrin the President of Friends Of The Boardwalk told CBS that the construction requirements for a plastic boardwalk will result in poor drainage and eventually flooding.

Dobrin says there’s no drainage for sand or water on top of the concrete. Sand fills the gaps between the recycled plastic boards and water builds up.

Friends of the boardwalk says that their goal, “to initiate, support and encourage projects for the revitalization and improvement of the boardwalk, beach and the Coney Island and Brighton Beach communities.”

The group maintains a website that shows the kind of damage that can occur when plastic planks are laid down in place of wood.

boardwalk damage Heated Debate Over Proposed Coney Island Boardwalk Makeover

Damage that resulted from the use of plastic on the Coney Island boardwalk in the past. (Credit:Friends Of The Boardwalk)

But Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says the plastic composite can last 75 years and is cheaper to build with than wood.

The parks department says some natural woods last just eight years.

The plan to rebuild the boardwalk must be approved by the city’s Public Design Commission before it can be carried out.

What do you think, should the wood be replaced with plastic? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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