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PermaTrak Project Profiles: Concrete Boardwalks and Pedestrian Bridges

Since its introduction to the US and Canada in 2010, landscape architects and engineers have designed commercial projects using the PermaTrak concrete boardwalk system for various types of applications: fishing piers, urban walkways over sensitive tree roots, pedestrian bridges, elevated greenways, wetland boardwalks and more. The project profiles below share specific boardwalk design and construction challenges. Enjoy!

literature brochure permatrak
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Challenge

In New Albany, OH, engineers with EP Ferris and Associates were working to widen the shoulder along Beech Road to provide safe access for pedestrians and cyclists. Beside the road was a downward slope toward a small lake, making it costly and time consuming to widen the road and relocate the sidewalk. Some of the possible solutions to a problem like this include building a retaining wall and sidewalk or installing an elevated boardwalk.

Solution

EP Ferris and Associates ultimately decided that specifying a PermaTrak elevated walkway was more effective than widening the road shoulder, which would require imported backfill and construction on a retaining wall and sidewalk. “The low maintenance and longevity of PermaTrak made it a great fit,” Matt Sloat of EP Ferris and Associates said. PermaTrak has been an effective application for similar sites and gives engineers a durable and customizable option to consider.

“The city is happy with what was provided and (PermaTrak) is a good fit for the industrial area of Beech Road. I would recommend PermaTrak for other projects. Jason was great to work with and provided drawings which made it a good experience as far as plan development,” Sloat said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 260 ft.  
Tread Width: 8 ft. 9 in.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Broom
Installation Date: November 2014
Upper_Tampa_Bay_Trail-top_image.jpg

Challenge

The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is a walking, biking, and road cycling trail in northwest Hillsborough County, FL. Phase IV of the trail enhancement project required several segments through wetland areas. Florida’s harsh UV exposure, heat, and humidity traditionally wear down timber boardwalks after a few years. Cardno TBE was looking for a maintenance-free product that wouldn’t disturb the sensitive wetland area.


“We wanted something more durable with longevity,” Richard Sanders of Hillsborough County said. “In Florida, we have these wetland areas all over the place and we have
a lot of crossings that go through these areas. It’s important when you’re installing something out in the wetlands that you do it without damaging the area,” he added.

Solution

Cardno TBE specified PermaTrak as the basis of design to solve the county’s maintenance concerns. Pepper Contracting’s team utilized an intermediate loading area and installed the PermaTrak system via top down construction. “We liked that feature too, how you could install the boardwalk on top of the existing sections,” Sanders said.

The regional trail was partially funded by Florida DOT, and includes three sections of PermaTrak totaling 2,480 linear ft. The local standard Florida DOT Index 850 railing system (galvanized steel) completed the boardwalks, allowing 12 ft. of usable space.

“We appreciated PermaTrak providing all the upfront information we were looking for - the specifications, drawings, all the help provided along the way to get a long-term product out there: something that would have some longevity,” Sanders said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 1,600 ft., 524 ft. and 356 ft. 
Tread Width: 13 ft. 4 in. 
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: March 2015
White_Oak_Greenway_Underpass_at_NC_Turnpike_-top.jpg

Challenge

The White Oak Creek Greenway originating in Cary, N.C.’s Bond Park had a section removed due to I-540 construction. The Town of Cary needed to rebuild this segment in order to maintain the functionality of the trail, but there were some challenges.

The greenway’s alignment required an elevated boardwalk be built in a protected wetland (non-disturbance area), with a limited vertical clearance under the I-540 bridge. The Town of Cary needed the boardwalk to be designed for a large emergency vehicle, with enough horizontal clearance to maneuver through the boardwalk’s curved alignment.

Solution

A pricing evaluation showed PermaTrak to be more cost-effective than a pressure-treated timber boardwalk. Engineers at LPA Group of North Carolina worked with PermaTrak to design the wide greenway segment for a H-10 truck live load (20,000 pounds).


Raleigh-Durham Roadbuilders implemented a top down construction method to preserve the area’s wetlands. A large excavator was used to vibrate timber piles in place before setting PermaTrak beams and treads - all while operating on top of previously installed boardwalk sections. A smaller Bobcat was used to move the material from the staging area to the excavator, working on top of the boardwalk instead of through the wetland area.

The finished product allows the White Oak Greenway, which will be seven miles long when complete, to continue toward the American Tobacco Trail, a popular 22-mile regional trail in the Triangle Area of North Carolina.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 315 ft. 
Tread Width: 15 ft. 4 in. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: March 2012
MacDonald_Woods_Park_permatrak_boardwalk-top_image_for_web.jpg

Challenge

MacDonald Woods is a low-lying park in the Len’s Branch floodplain in Cary, N.C. The area often floods after heavy rain, and an undersized culvert was failing. The Town of Cary wanted to replace the culvert and build up the creek embankments to prevent flooding. A boardwalk was needed to traverse low land, and a bridge was required to cross the creek area.

Solution

Using PermaTrak's extended length precast beams allowed Ward Consulting Engineers to design a structure that spans the creek, avoiding debris buildup that could occur with additional piers. PermaTrak’s 26 ft. span bridge links two areas of the park and features boardwalk ramps on either side.

An additional 22 ft. concrete boardwalk structure was installed in the park, required to combat uplift hydraulic forces in the floodplain. The Town of Cary knew they could rely on PermaTrak’s durability and lack of maintenance in this type of floodplain environment after several other successful installations in the area.

Becky Ward, President of Ward Consulting Engineers, praised PermaTrak for providing support and being responsive when her team needed help or changes made to construction drawings. “The PermaTrak structure came out really nicely, providing a nice aesthetic bridge. The elevation change of the bridge makes it a very nice view and walk up over the stream. The Town of Cary really wanted a concrete application that was a long-term, low maintenance solution. It achieved what the client wanted,” Ward said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 22 ft. and 102 ft. 
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: December 2012
Wake_Forest_University-top_image_for_web-small.jpg

Challenge

At a university, maintaining tradition within the style of new structures is integral to the overall look and feel of the campus. Wake Forest University recently faced this challenge as landscape architects from Stimmel Associates planned a new section of campus surrounding Farrell Hall, the university’s state-of-the-art business school. They hoped to preserve the school’s architectural style during the addition of an elevated walkway. An added challenge of this heavily trafficked thoroughfare was the presence of large tree roots that weren’t to be disturbed by the new pedestrian walkway.

Solution

PermaTrak provided the ability to position precast concrete piers in locations that didn’t disturb Wake Forest’s trees, a testament to the boardwalk system’s flexibility. The durability of the precast concrete pedestrian walkway will be sure to withstand the heavy foot traffic from students, faculty and staff. To blend with the traditional look and feel of Wake Forest University, the landscape architecture team chose a color that tied into the environment, and finished the walkway with the standard railing style used across the campus.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of North Carolina concrete boardwalks

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 120 ft. 
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in. 
Color: Savannah Brown
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: August 2013
indiana_concrete_boardwalk_wolf_lake_crossings

Challenge

For the Wolf Lake South Trail in Hammond, Indiana, swale crossings were needed in several low-lying areas to prevent water from overtopping the trail and hindering natural drainage. 

“We’ve seen other trails in the area run into this issue and wanted to learn from it before it became a problem,” said Dean Button, engineer and project manager at SEH, Inc.

Concrete box culverts and perforated metal pipes were also considered. Box culvert options would require a costly increase to the trail profile elevation, while smaller diameter pipes would face debris buildup potential.

Solution

Six identical boardwalk crossings, each 20 ft. in length, were designed and installed throughout the Wolf Lake South Trail to allow proper drainage into the lake. 

The PermaTrak clear span boardwalk crossings alleviated drainage concerns while bringing an attractive, recreational feel to the trail.

Dean Button also praised PermaTrak’s engineering team for their helpful communication when putting together bid document packets for these boardwalk crossings.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of Indiana concrete boardwalks

Related: These crossings are not the only contribution PermaTrak has made to the Wolf Lake South Trail. In another project, PermaTrak worked with SEH designers and James McHugh Construction to design and install the Wolf Lake Boardwalk —the longest pedestrian bridge in the Midwest and a part of the Wolf Lake South Trail.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths:
6 crossings - 20 ft. each
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: September 2012
Hampton Park Profile top half for website

Challenge 

Charleston, SC is well known for its awe-inspiring live oak trees. Especially in a city like Charleston, they offer a unique character and deep sense of history. Both the City of Charleston and Charleston County work to create safe walkways for pedestrians while protecting these trees from damage.

These agencies needed to extend a sidewalk section at Hampton Park, maintaining ADA compliance without damaging the live oak tree roots that were coming out of the ground 6-8’’. Purchasing additional right of way and acquiring private property to completely avoid the trees would require a lot of time and money.  

Solution

Eric Adams, P.E., an Engineering Manager at Charleston County Transportation Department, describes PermaTrak’s boardwalk system as a unique product that can be used to preserve these sensitive tree roots. “This provided another solution to our problem…it’s just another tool in the toolbox to get around difficult areas,” he said.

Installing PermaTrak’s low impact pier foundations and extended beams, “LTS Construction did a good job with installation, avoided any damage to the tree roots and accomplished the goal of the project,” he added. Together, the City of Charleston and Charleston County’s decision preserved these live oak trees for future generations to enjoy.  

Watch the 2-minute video showing how LTS Construction handled these concrete treads manually in order to speed up the boardwalk construction process.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 105 ft.
Tread Width: 6 ft.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Broom
Installation Date: March 2014
Riverside Drive Park Pedestrian Bridges

Challenge

Riverside Drive Park’s development project included construction of small trail offshoots to be used heavily by maintenance vehicles. For these legs of the trail, the City of Dublin looked to find an alternative to traditional timber pedestrian bridges. The Parks and Open Space Department needed a durable material that was a cost-effective and long-term solution the city could rely on.

Solution

Janco LLC installed 16 ft. beams supplied by PermaTrak to span across the large creek. PermaTrak’s concrete toe curbs were used to prevent maintenance vehicles from taking an unwanted nose dive.

Riverside Drive Park now boasts a PermaTrak structure that won’t need a replacement in the near future. “With a timber bridge you’re expecting it to last 10 to 20 years-I kind of question how long it will last, there’s a lot of different factors that affect timber bridges,” said Scott Sonnenberg, owner of Eco Design & Engineering. The short lifespan of timber pedestrian bridges pales in comparison to the longevity of this precast concrete boardwalk. “Once that thing is in place you’re not going to have to mess with it for a long time. My guess is 50 years,” Sonnenberg added. The City of Dublin’s PermaTrak application sets a much higher standard for design life of future pedestrian bridges across the district area.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 16 ft.
Tread Width: 9 ft. 
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: October 2011
Hurricane Creek Pedestrian Bridges

Challenge

Rapid population growth in Lavergne since the 1990s has placed a premium on efficient land use, bike trails, pedestrian bridges and durable greenway systems. Lose & Associates consultants evaluated several pedestrian bridge types for the Hurricane Creek Greenway master plan, searching for a long-term structure that would install quickly and complement the overall greenway design. 

Solution

PermaTrak’s pedestrian bridges are designed and engineered for ease of installation. Once a retaining wall and foundation work had been completed, Rollins Excavating set PermaTrak’s precast concrete abutments, 24 ft. beams, and boardwalk treads in under two working days. “It was a new product that we thought would fit, especially with the ease of bringing it into the site and quick installation time. We’re very happy with the way it came out,” said Lee Davidson of Lose & Associates. With a variety of colors and texture options, PermaTrak’s pedestrian bridges can enhance the project’s overall design profile.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 24 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: November 2011
Beckett Park Wetland Boardwalk Design

Challenge

Beckett Park gives visitors an extensive trail system that provides ample space to walk, run, fish or bike. A boardwalk was needed to connect these pathways in two locations: above an existing weir wall and through a man-made wetland area. West Chester Township desired a cost-effective solution; weir wall rebuilding efforts would require significant time and money. The second location called for a wetland boardwalk design that would split two ponds and keep a low profile. Woolpert needed a product with design flexibility to accommodate the desired curved alignments of both boardwalks. 

Solution

Bray Construction poured concrete piers and used PermaTrak’s cap components to elevate the first boardwalk application in front of the existing weir wall. Woolpert’s recommendation to avoid rebuilding efforts on the weir wall saved money and kept the project within the owner’s budget. “We didn’t want to reconstruct the outfall structure for the pond. With the PermaTrak system, we could leave the existing structure untouched, operating as it was designed to operate,” said Bruce Rankin, Woolpert’s Project Director. Bray also constructed the second PermaTrak application, following the curve of Woolpert’s wetland boardwalk design.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of completed concrete boardwalks in our gallery.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 60 ft. and 87 ft.  
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: May 2011
Lower_McAlpine_Creek_Greenway_Top.jpg

Challenge

Located in a floodplain, Lower McAlpine Creek Greenway in Charlotte, N.C. experienced several storm events that caused debris to build up under a truss bridge. Under heavier storm events, the stream would flow over the top of the banks and eventually scoured the earthen fill at each abutment. For safety reasons, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation removed the bridge and looked for a way to allow water flow without an obstacle.

Solution

The bridge was raised five feet higher, and a PermaTrak concrete boardwalk was constructed to connect the bridge with the existing path. “Maintenance issues have been corrected because we were able to raise the bridge deck elevation to prevent the span acting like a dam each time debris laden flood waters rushed downstream,” project engineer Jeff Oden of Stewart, Inc. said. 

Having experienced timber boardwalks wearing down in the area, PermaTrak was the durable, long-lasting solution Mecklenburg County was looking for on the greenway. “We selected the concrete material over treated wood due to an expectation that it would last much longer than wood,” Oden said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 80 ft. and 72 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.  
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: November 2012
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Challenge

The White Rock Creek Trail is a 7.6 mile linear trail northeast of downtown Dallas, running alongside White Rock Creek. As a heavily used thoroughfare by walkers, runners, and cyclists, the city had plans to expand the trail. A curved crossing needed to be built in a unique area where the creek water flows into a low backwater area.

Due to potential flooding of the creek, city designers were looking for an elevated structure to span the low areas where flooding is common. They were also hoping to find a structure durable enough to handle ice in the winter and extremely hot days in summer.

Solution

The city’s design consultant, Pacheco Koch, partnered with the PermaTrak team to develop a crossing at the site. As heavy rains in the year following installation proved, an elevated structure was absolutely necessary for this site. A wooden deck would have been slippery and treacherous for the trail’s cyclists, so PermaTrak’s concrete surface was a welcomed solution.

Finished with a welded galvanized steel railing, the elevated boardwalk enhances one of Dallas’ premier trails and is the ideal application for the use of PermaTrak’s precast concrete boardwalk system.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 217 ft. 
Tread Width: 13 ft. 0 in.  
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: August 2014
Van_Wezel_permatrak_pier_top_image_for_web-small.jpg

Challenge

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center is set on Sarasota’s picturesque bay front and attracts locals and tourists to experience a variety of music, dance, theater, and comedy. Four viewing piers are on the grounds of this landmark, and they extend over the bay, making them vulnerable to harsh coastal conditions such as UV and salt water exposure. The existing timber platforms were constructed on concrete piles, but the wood decking was not holding up to the elements.

Solution

With the help of PermaTrak’s engineering team, the Atkins design consultants prepared bid documents specifying a precast concrete system to replace the worn down timber platforms. Bayshore Construction was hired to remove the existing timber superstructure, then install the PermaTrak system and a sleek marine-grade aluminum railing. This retrofit solution on the existing concrete piles was possible with the PermaTrak system due to the design flexibility of its beam and tread components.

The newly finished PermaTrak viewing piers will ensure that Van Wezel visitors can enjoy bay front viewing for years to come.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of Florida concrete boardwalks.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths:
3 piers - 20 ft. x 20 ft. 
1 pier - 32 ft. x 20 ft. 
Tread Width: Varies from 7 ft. to 10 ft. 
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Broom
Installation Date: August 2014
Jupiter_Inlet_boardwalk_top_photo.jpg

Challenge

Jupiter Beach Park sits on the Atlantic Ocean in beautiful Palm Beach County, FL, featuring a large jetty where inlet fishing is available 24 hours a day. The boardwalk leading to this pier was worn down from heavy foot traffic, saltwater spray, and Florida’s harsh UV rays.

Originally constructed of Southern Yellow Pine, the Jupiter Inlet District had been experimenting for several years with different boardwalk products, in search of a decking material that could withstand the jetty environment. Frustration set in when the Southern Yellow Pine planks warped and split, the composite decking became slippery, and the hardwood planks faded and showed screws popping up on the walking surface.

Solution

Taylor Engineering specified PermaTrak for its durability in harsh coastal conditions, then led the project through design and permitting with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

Murray Logan Construction completed the removal of the wood and composite boardwalk materials before installing PermaTrak’s precast concrete system with a marine grade, welded aluminum railing.

PermaTrak was an ideal fit for Jupiter Inlet District’s boardwalk reconstruction project, as its proven resiliency against harsh UV rays and saltwater spray will save thousands of dollars in maintenance.

Find more photos of Florida's Jupiter Inlet boardwalk here. 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 205 ft.  
Tread Width: 6 ft. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: March 2015
Villages_Florida_Live_Oak_Park_Observation_Deck

Challenge

The Villages, an active adult retirement community in central Florida, wanted to construct an observation pier offering a view of the grasslands at Live Oak Park. The private development, which hosts a large population of senior citizens, needed a long lasting and easy-to-maintain building material for its boardwalk and scenic observation pier. 

The maintenance headaches and impermanence of wood decking was a significant challenge for The Villages District Property Management, the department responsible for upholding and maintaining The Village’s infrastructure.

Solution

PermaTrak offered a more permanent alternative to timber decking: precast concrete. Michael Pape, Landscape Architect Principal at Michael Pape & Associates, who specified the PermaTrak boardwalk system, says the “project turned out well” as a structure that requires no maintenance and will last for decades to come. He includes that he is “glad to see the finished boardwalk product looks so nice.” 

PermaTrak’s concrete boardwalk system stood out among other boardwalk options because of its strength and durability in comparison to other materials, particularly pressure-treated timber. Today, The Villages’ visitors and residents can enjoy Florida sunsets with an elevated wetlands view from the observation platform.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of Florida concrete boardwalks.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 45 ft.
Tread Width: 6 ft. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: January 2012
Wolf Lake Profile top half for website

Challenge 

The Wolf Lake Trail in Hammond, Indiana is a 6-mile recreational multi-use path that links Lake Michigan to northwest Indiana’s inland bodies of water. The trail was missing a link between the North Trail and South Trail and needed an elevated crossing to loop over Wolf Lake. 

As part of a $100 million redevelopment project funded by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), designers from SEH knew they needed to specify a durable material with a longer lifespan to withstand heavy use from thousands of pedestrians and cyclists each year.

Solution

SEH, assisted by PermaTrak’s engineers, designed a unique curved boardwalk that stretches roughly 1,050 linear feet across Wolf Lake. Elevated roughly 9 ft. above the water, kayaks and canoes can easily pass underneath the boardwalk. James McHugh Construction installed PermaTrak’s precast concrete beams and concrete treads with a Sandblast texture finish. 

The PermaTrak boardwalk material was the best option because it is “deterrent, won’t burn and can’t be easily taken apart,” says SEH engineer and project manager Dean Button. It also features “durability and resistance to vandalism.”

Button is pleased with the outcome of the project - including its integrated steel railing system. “To build something offsite, have holes pre-fabricated, bring it to the site and have it fit up the way it did was just amazing,” he adds.

Hammond Port Authority’s final greenway link creates a vibrant multi-use path for walkers, runners, and cyclists to use for decades to come.

On June 1, 2014, Leon’s Triathlon showcased hundreds of athletes using the concrete boardwalk at Wolf Lake Trail. Watch the 2-minute video to hear feedback from the triathletes, how they felt running across the concrete boardwalk. 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 1,050 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: December 2013
Osprey Harbor Village Observation Deck Coastal Construction

Challenge

Kayaking is an adventure sport that has gained popularity among local Floridians and snow birds from the North hoping to take advantage of year round warm weather. The Board of Directors and property managers at Osprey Harbor Village recognized many residents adopting this trend. A coastal construction project to include an observation deck and kayak launch would give villa owners water access and a pleasant area to relax. But on the salty intercoastal waterway in Osprey, traditional boardwalk materials would be crippled exponentially over time by the rough marine environment. 

Solution

Duncan Seawall installed a L-shaped PermaTrak observation deck and kayak launch to enhance Osprey Harbor Village’s shore. “Not only does it provide safe access to the water, but a pleasant observation area for residents to further enjoy our park-like setting. This new structure adds a great deal to the value of our location on the Intercostal Waterway and will be enjoyed thoroughly by residents for many years to come,” said Dale Ludwig, Board President at Osprey Harbor Village. The modular precast concrete system void of steel connectors will withstand the rough environment with high UV exposure and salt water abrasion. As a cost-competitive alternative to composite lumber products, PermaTrak’s maintenance-free system finally provides a relief to coastal boardwalk construction headaches. 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 47 ft.
Tread Width: 4 ft. and 7 ft. 6 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: May 2011
Judaculla Rock Observation Deck

Challenge 

Judaculla Rock is a 2,000-3,000 year old soapstone boulder, the Southeast’s largest petroglyph, and a sacred site on a Native American settlement in North Carolina. Cherokee legend attributes the markings to a protective, slant-eyed giant who left his foot and hand prints on the rock. Jackson County Parks and Recreation needed to construct an observation deck in order to accomplish three things: prevent damage from pedestrian foot traffic, enhance the visitor experience, and appease the seven-fingered Judaculla giant.

Solution

Collaborating with Equinox Environmental, PermaTrak designed a horseshoe-shaped observation deck complete with several cantilevered lookout points extending towards Judaculla Rock. “The craftsmanship and engineering on it made for an easy project to install,” said installer Doug Parker. Non-intrusive precast concrete pier foundations made certain the installation and finished product respected the integrity of the land.

Fred Grogan of Equinox Environmental reported, “The PermaTrak system was selected for this project over a wooden structure based on a number of factors. These included ease of ongoing maintenance, ability of prefabricated components to easily achieve design intent of the observation deck, as well as minimal installation costs by utilizing in-house Jackson County employees.”

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 70 ft.
Tread Width: 7 ft. 6 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: March 2011
Glastonbury Multi Use Path Trail Design

Challenge

A safe and durable boardwalk section was needed to extend a new multi-use path through a protected wetland area in Glastonbury, CT. The boardwalk required a live load design to account for a 10,000 lb. vehicle (H5 truck). Construction efforts on the boardwalk system needed to minimize disturbance to this environmentally sensitive area. Furthermore, the original boardwalk trail design included challenging horizontal and vertical alignment changes. The Town of Glastonbury needed a product with engineered design flexibility to fit the multi-use path’s original layout. 

Solution

Glastonbury’s engineers selected a skid-resistant Sandblast finish to help prevent bike tires from losing their grip on a winding trail design - even in shady, wet areas. Cast-in-place concrete piles were selected from a variety of PermaTrak foundation options.

Connecticut Carpentry capitalized on the boardwalk’s load carrying capacity as they installed the treads using top-down construction, minimizing the impact on the wetlands. Not only was the PermaTrak system engineered to meet the live load requirement, but its design flexibility allowed for the multi-use path alignment to be essentially unchanged from concept to construction. “We are pleased with the overall appearance of the finished product,” said Glastonbury engineer Stephen Braun. “It fits very well with the path.” 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 150 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: October 2011
Mellow Mushroom Concrete Boardwalk

Challenge

Landscape Architect Chris Darnell of J.K. Tiller & Associates, Inc. needed to design an elevated walkway that would run along the back wall of a proposed upscale pizza restaurant, the Mellow Mushroom. A principal goal of the design was to maintain the integrity of the live oaks, Hilton Head’s signature trees. “A lot of people come to Hilton Head to experience and interact with nature and that’s one of the charges the town has taken on, to preserve that environment,” Darnell said. 

Solution

The base component of PermaTrak’s concrete boardwalk pier system was buried just 18 in. below grade. This shallow modular design minimized disturbance to the root system for Hilton Head’s famous live oak trees. “The footprint of the PermaTrak system is very reduced. In other words, only (the area) where the piers go has to be excavated to put in a footer. Otherwise everything else with the PermaTrak is left undisturbed and that’s ideal for what we were trying to do,” Darnell said. 

PermaTrak’s precast concrete boardwalk material gives the Mellow Mushroom restaurant a long-term, durable structure. This elevated boardwalk will readily handle years of heavy use from commercial equipment, machines, hand trucks, trash dumpsters, and other restaurant prep traffic.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 46 ft.
Tread Width: 3 ft. 9 in. and 7 ft. 6 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: February 2011

PermaTrak Boardwalks in Australia

PermaTrak concrete boardwalk system was invented in 1996 by Australian landscape architect Franek Savarton. Before PermaTrak North America started in 2010, dozens of boardwalk projects were installed throughout Australia to solve common boardwalk design challenges. You can read more about PermaTrak boardwalks in Australia here.