We're pleased to announce that PermaTrak was designated as a state finalist for the ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) Indiana 2015 Engineering Excellence Awards Competition. The Wolf Lake Boardwalk, owned by the Hammond Port Authority, IN is a piece of $50 million worth of improvements to Wolf Lake and the surrounding area.
Comparing Pressure-Treated Timber, Composite and Concrete Boardwalks in Wetland Areas
Wetlands contain valuable and delicate ecosystems that must be preserved. Any boardwalk or pedestrian bridge built over a wetland must leave a minimal impact on the environment, no matter which material is specified. If possible, using top-down construction in a wetland area can have several benefits, numbered 1-3 below.
You'll also find a pros and cons list comparing different boardwalk decking materials that can be used in a wetland area. Keep in mind, these bullet points are geared towards commercial boardwalk or pedestrian bridge projects through wetland areas, not residential applications.
PermaTrak offers a cost-effective, maintenance free solution to designing and constructing boardwalks in wetland areas, with a low-impact on the surrounding environment. Below is a simple graphic to explain the benefits of designing and specifying a concrete boardwalk through sensitive wetland areas.
Topics: Wetland Boardwalks
Retrofitting Piers, Pedestrian Bridges, Boardwalks, and more
Many popular trails and boardwalks have been built in beautiful settings that draw visitors regularly.
Those sites include timber or composite structures that are outdoors and in harsh environments. The trails and boardwalks eventually become worn and may exceed safe structural design guidelines and become functionally obsolete. There are trails that have deteriorated decks, substructures and foundations (the photo on the right is an extreme example of this). Designers and their clients are often faced with the need to replace portions of trails and boardwalks. In some cases, even the complete structure must be replaced.
A landscape architect or civil engineer has a variety of product choices when designing trails and multi use paths. As with any design project at the conceptual level, successful landscape architects and engineers will consider their client’s site features, environmental factors, and the overall intended purpose of their trail or path. And probably most importantly, their client’s budget!
Topics: Boardwalk Materials
The installation of a PermaTrak concrete boardwalk for Hillsborough County's Upper Tampa Bay Trail Phase IV will be completed over the next couple of weeks. Designed by Cardno TBE with engineering support from PermaTrak, Pepper Contracting of Tampa Bay was awarded the publicly bid project and started construction in early January.
Topics: Boardwalk Construction
If you are a designer with experience in trails, you’ve probably heard plenty of the following terms outside of the common “multi-use trail,” including: multi-use path, bike path, bike trail, walkway, pathway, byway, greenway, linear park, dirtway, access trail, and more!
So what do they all mean, and which one is right for your project? Take a look for a quick comparison and overview of byways, greenways and a relatively new term - DIRTways.
Topics: Multi Use Trails and Greenways
Whether you fish every weekend or just occasionally, you know that not all fishing piers are created equal. Sometimes visiting an observation or fishing pier can less than ideal with unstable pile supports (see picture below), cracking boards providing sharp wood slivers, a slippery surface after it rains, or a hot and unforgiving railing to sit or lean against.
Topics: Boardwalk Durability/Maintenance
Boardwalk Site Conditions: Wetlands, Grasslands and Floodplain
If you have experience designing projects for park & recreation clients, trail systems, or greenways, I’m sure you can appreciate how much site conditions influence your design concepts.
For architects and engineers with boardwalks or pedestrian bridge projects in their portfolios, delicate environments come up often – including wetlands, grasslands or floodplain areas. Designers are hired for their expertise in specifying a boardwalk or pedestrian bridge product through these types of natural environments in order to provide a safe walkway for visitors, an “outdoor classroom”, or simply a connection to another part of the trail system. These project locations dictate the design and specification of an elevated structure; a traditional gravel or asphalt surface simply won’t suffice.
So how do the site conditions relate to designing boardwalk foundations through a wetland area?
Topics: Wetland Boardwalks
The timber vs. concrete boardwalk debate has picked up over the last couple of years with large, public beach boardwalks like Long Beach and Rockaways, NY drawing a lot of attention. For a time, wooden boardwalks were most widely used, becoming beloved and iconic in places like Coney Island. After Hurricane Sandy, the term “concrete boardwalk” started becoming more popular as owners and designers discussed boardwalk reconstruction efforts in city council meetings and local news channels. Some joined Mayor Bloomberg by citing concrete’s durability and lack of required maintenance, while wood boardwalk advocates expressed their concerns that the famous wood structures would become “concrete beach sidewalks” that would chip and crack like they saw in streets and parking lots. Why would a “concrete boardwalk” be any different?
Topics: Boardwalk Materials
Green building is an integral part of the future of architecture and engineering, whether dealing with buildings, softscape or hardscape infrastructure. We’d like to highlight current efforts that promote green building design and sustainable practices.