Justice Martin Solomon, sitting in Brooklyn Supreme Court, New York's trial level court, ruled Monday the city does not have to conduct an environmental review before the work gets under way, the New York Post reported. The litigation began in June when the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance filed a lawsuit demanding the review.
Other community and environmental groups also opposed the plan, backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to use recycled plastic and concrete instead of wood to replace areas that have become unsound.
"The Coney Island boardwalk is nostalgic, and it's famous world-round," said Todd Dobrin, president of Friends of the Boardwalk. "I don't think tourists are going to come to see the Coney Island driveway."
After SuperStorm Sandy battered New York coastal areas, Bloomberg told a newspaper that was the end of wooden boardwalks. But critics of his plan said concrete walkways were actually damaged worse than wooden ones.
While the dispute involves only 5 percent of the Coney Island boardwalk, Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, said sooner or later the entire boardwalk will be replaced.
"Sooner or later, the whole thing is going to be made of concrete. It's a boardwalk; it's not a sidewalk," he said.
Coney Island, the westernmost barrier island on the south shore of Long Island, is now partly joined to the rest of Brooklyn by landfill. The island became a popular summer resort in the early 19th century and later one of the world's most famous amusement park areas.