Wood Flour Composite Lumber Used on New Jersey Boardwalk
May 5, 2013 | 8:55 pm UTC

Wood Flour Composite Lumber Used on New Jersey BoardwalkSPRING LAKE, NJ -- The Spring Lake, NJ ocean boardwalk, a two-mile stretch destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, is being been rebuilt, using a wood flour and plastic composite material called TimberTech in place of wood decking.

The 18-foot wide boardwalk was stripped its concrete pilings, some dating to the 1930s (one piling shows a stamp with "WPA 1937") when the violent hurricane barreled through New Jersey's coast in October, 2012.

Rebuilt with construction-grade 4X12 lumber underneath for support, the top surface was relaid with TimberTech's composite Docksider, made from recycled plastic and wood flour. TimberTech says it uses 107 million pounds of post industrial wood flour and post consumer plastic annually to make its products.

Spring Lake is the first operational boardwalk in the area. Construction was handled by five members of the town's Department of Public Works and 15 to 20 additional hired laborers.  Rain in the south had affected the lumber shipments on the 4x12, so the town resorted to using as much reclaimed lumber as it could obtain. Stainless steel screws and screw guns were used to fasten the Docksider to the under-supports.

The TimberTech Docksider is sturdy ehough for vehicles and pedestrian traffic.

"We had to figure out loads for pedestrians and town vehicles for the structural lumber attached to the pilings and then the TimberTech on the surface," says Peter Avakian, P.E., of Leon S. Avakian Consulting Engineers Inc. To protect the boardwalk, metal stanchions that straddle the joined areas are designed to break away in sections so the boardwalk and railings stay as one complete section in the event of storms.

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