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Are Traditional Wooden Boardwalks A Trend Of The Past?

As the wooden planks of the boardwalks become worn, more and more towns along the Jersey shore are considering plastic alternatives.

Flickr User Dougtone

Long Branch has used plastic lumber for years, Atlantic City is expected to test it out in the fall and now, Ocean City is looking into the possibility for a seven block commercial stretch of its boardwalk.

“Obviously, we’re looking for a product that is sustainable, that will last many years and will be priced well for the taxpayer,” said Ocean City Council President Michael Allegretto. “There are all kinds of domestic woods, like the pine we currently use. We’re also looking into some synthetic products as well. They may cost a little more up front, but the idea is to get longer use out of them. Currently, pine lasts anywhere from five to seven years. Many of these other products last twenty, thirty and forty years.”

“When you look at a whole block of it, it certainly can have a different look that visitors and residents may not enjoy as far as a traditional feel and look of a boardwalk,” said Allegretto. “That will certainly be a consideration as we move forward.”

A recent report found that plastic lumber would be about a tenth as expensive over its lifespan to install and maintain as pine over the same period. Aside from the cost, many of the newest types of decking are made entirely of recycled materials, which benefit the environment as well.

Allegretto says the city wants to have a plan in place by October on exactly what material will be used.


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