Earlier this week, Ocean City's town council selected Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Co. of Baltimore to provide more than 56,000 pieces of yellow pine to rebuild the boardwalk, a contract worth about $600,000.

The town also approved plans to purchase and test an alternative wood to be used on just one block of the initial project. The cost of the TimberSIL, a green product that fuses glass with wood and claims to last longer than yellow pine, was about $40,000.

Plans for the boardwalk renovation call for two phases, beginning this fall. The first will cover from the inlet and Somerset Street and from 15th to 27th streets.

The town has not as yet called for bids for second phase, which will cover Somerset to 15th streets, arguably the busiest section of the boardwalk.

According to The Coastal Dispatch, the council's views on the yellow pine were not so clear cut. And it's possible the door remains open for use of an alternative wood for the second phase.

TimberSIL has been featured in Popular Science, Metropolitan Home and This Old House. It looks like wood to me, so I'm not sure visitors would even notice the difference. But it does cost more than yellow pine.

The alternative wood will be tested between 15th and 16th Streets, so when you visit next summer, you can give it the once over.