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Welcome! PermaTrak's Boardwalk Blog is for landscape architects, engineers, and parks & recreation professionals. We aim to provide educational resources on boardwalk design, boardwalk materials and construction practices for building trail and greenway systems. In reading our weekly posts, you will deepen your knowledge of commercial boardwalk materials and improve your overall understanding of boardwalk construction practices.

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Get to Know Your Piers: Timber vs. Concrete Fishing Pier

timber fishing pier boardwalk everglades resized 600

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.

Can Precast Concrete Piers Be Used for a Wetland Boardwalk?

wetland boardwalk observation deck

Boardwalk Site Conditions: Wetlands, Grasslands and Floodplain

Boardwalk Design Questions: Timber vs. Concrete Answers

rockaways beach boardwalk concrete

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?

SITES v2 Rating System for Sustainable Landscapes Available Now

Washington Park SITES resized 600

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. 

Design Considerations for Salt Exposure & Concrete Boardwalks

wolf lake boardwalk construction railing

It may not be winter, but snow and ice don’t take a backseat in boardwalk design just because of the season. In Canada or northern regions of the US that see high volumes of snow and ice, salting a boardwalk or pedestrian bridge surface is an important consideration for professional designers.

Comparing Boardwalk Materials: Timber vs. Composite vs. Concrete

timber boardwalk sand dunes

Choosing the proper boardwalk material to suit your project’s design requirements is key to providing a long-term infrastructure asset and ensuring a happy client. In this article we will point out several key factors to consider when evaluating commercial grade boardwalk materials.

Marine Boardwalk Construction Challenges: Storm Surges & Salt Exposure

coastal boardwalk

Designing a boardwalk for commercial use in a marine environment comes with a unique set of challenges for designers. Engineers and architects must account for static site conditions as well as natural events that may occur during the structure's lifetime, including flooding and storm surges.

Choosing Multi Use Trail Surface Types: Gravel, Asphalt, Concrete

gravel trail surface runner

Trails are quickly becoming a coveted amenity in urban spaces. No longer are trails sidelined to distant national parks and obscure, secluded spaces. They’re becoming an important part of our greenspaces throughout towns and cities. Trails promote physical activity and alternative transportation through biking, running or walking.

4 Standout Cities for Trails, Greenways, and Greenspace Development

birmingham rotary trail old cut resized 600

The expansion of greenways and trail systems has been an exciting movement within the United States. Greenspaces have proven to be vital to the revitalization of cities by promoting healthier lifestyles, encouraging economic growth and facilitating environmentally friendly developments. The cities listed below have made a priority of improving their communities with trails, parks and greenspaces. In doing so, they’ve set precedents and shared best practices for other cities, counties or agencies to follow.

3 Areas Where Concrete Boardwalks Are Not Your Best Option

boardwalk on a mountain resized 600

Here at PermaTrak, we believe the benefits of concrete boardwalks include durability, environmental friendliness, and long-term cost savings. We’ve designed and produced PermaTrak for many different types of applications all over the US – from wetland crossings and multi use trails to fishing piers and observation decks. 

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