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Stronger Than The Storm: Wood From Sandy Ravaged Boardwalks Finds New Life Around The Region

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Nearly two years after Sandy slammed local beach communities, debris left over by the storm has found a new life around the region.

The storm destroyed many local boardwalks, but as CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, much of that wood has found its way into places other than the garbage.

Weathered wood can be found outside of a Whole Foods store in Brooklyn, it can also be found inside, around the juice bar, and where bakery items are sold. Reclaimed boardwalk wood is also being used at ‘Think Coffee’ a coffee shop in Manhattan.

“I love the transformation of the materials. The beauty of it, the history that it carries, it’s good for the environment,” Alan Solomon, Sawkill Lumber, said.

Solomon works for a Connecticut lumber firm that acquired stacks of old, salvaged boardwalk from Coney Island and the Rockaways, after Hurricane Sandy.

“We worked with the city and salvaged it from the beach and from the fill sites,” Solomon said.

In all, 100,000-square feet of decking was salvaged, along with 50,000 linear feet of timbers. It’s been used to repair boardwalks and to build seating along beaches. It’s prime lumber, South American hardwood, perfect for repairs, decorative use, and even skateboarding.

“It’s beautiful wood. It’s satisfying to see it transformed and salvaged,” Solomon said.

J. Crew used the wood as flooring for its Fashion Week runway. Shake Shack used it for paneling in a JFK terminal.

Beachgoers who spoke with CBS 2’s Slattery applauded the recycling of the old wood.

“That’s wonderful. It will keep it alive, like nothing ever happened. That’s great,” one person said.

A force of nature ripped the boardwalks apart. Now, many of the peices are being used artistically or for repairs.

The highly desirable, reclaimed wood sells for about $15 a square-foot.

 

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