Archive for March, 2013


Plastic – other options or a reasonable stretch? 

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photo copy 3The mark may indicate that the lumber was sourced in Guyana, a country rich in tropical timber resources. 


photo copy 2Trees are approximately one-third water, the moisture content of freshly cut lumber. Over time, the wood air dries to 5-10%. The boardwalk woods may be slightly higher or lower in moisture content depending on the climate – rain, relative humidity, etc. For re-use, the woods need to be milled and dried (air or kiln), and arrive at a job site at under 10% or 12% for exterior applications. Water is always present in some percentage, contributing to the expansion and contraction of the woods over time. 



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photoAn estimated 80,000+ boards were pulled up one-by-one as part of the boardwalk salvage project. Here, NYC Parks Dept. manager Jordan Smith steps in to help with an early version of the Rockaway Wrecker – a customized hand-forged tool.  



photo copy 29Klaas Armster assessing remaining sections of boardwalk at Beach 35th St. in the Rockaways. 


IMG_0667These block (approx. 4″ x 12″ x 12-16″) act as bracing between supporting joists under the boardwalk, preventing movement – unless hurricane force waves upend the entire structure. 


photoRiis Park functioned as a transfer station for trash in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. The material loaded here – representing a trickle of what flowed through the park in the early weeks after the storm – is headed for landfills inn Pennsylvania and upstate New York. 


photo copy 2Local residents taking a winter walk along the beach. Adversity often makes the heart grow fonder for New York. 


photo copyNYC Parks Dept. here in a balancing act. The city has needed to balance clean-up, reclamation and re-building priorities in the storms aftermath. 


photo copy 4Without the fatal risks of 9/11, events such as hurricane Sandy have nonetheless broadened the scope of heroes responding to crime and disaster in Gotham. 


photo copy 3Masonry “Firewalls” are placed approximately 300′ along the boardwalk – an irony in light of the class A fire rating for tropical hardwoods.  


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photo copy 4Sprawling wood refuse piles at Riis Park, separated from waste stream to allow for salvage work. Here, David Selig selects material to use within MOMA’s seaside dome construction. 


photo copy 5Scrap aluminum – most likely destined for a domestic or southeast Asian smelting facility. 


photo copy 10NYC Parks staff person George Kroenert helps direct the D9 bulldozer in moving a section of boardwalk for safer hand dismantling. 


photo copy 3Staff of Armster Reclaimed Lumber Co. lead the dismantling work. 


photo copy 7Hurricane didn’t touch the spirit of free expression in the city. 


photo copy 9Hopeful outcome against global warming. Reclamation, resourcefulness and teamwork prevent a losing battle. 


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  • Klaas Armster assisted in consulting with the main public coordinating agencies that steered the reclamation process – FEMA, NYC Office of Emergency Management(NYC OEM), U.S. Army COR and NYC Parks Dept. 
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