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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 posts twice weekly, you will deepen your knowledge of commercial boardwalk materials and improve your overall understanding of boardwalk construction practices.

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Boardwalk Material Surface Temperatures: Wood vs. Composites vs. Concrete

 
boardwalk no bare feet resized 600

Back in early 2010, PermaTrak made an East Coast Road Tour through 15 cities to introduce a concrete boardwalk system to the United States. Concluding in Florida, some of the designers from the Sunshine State actually took off their socks and shoes to test how hot a concrete boardwalk material really is. Why would a working professional take off their socks and shoes in front of everyone like that? Because signs like this one actually exist!

Women's High Heels and Boardwalks Gaps: Minimizing the Risk

 
women's heels boardwalk

During a recent lunch and learn presentation, I was asked by an engineer about the walking surface of our boardwalk system, but this question was a bit different than I was used to hearing. “Have you ever had problems with women’s high heels getting stuck in the gaps?” he asked. His coworkers pointed and laughed and asked why he, of all people, would be asking that question.

What Causes Boardwalk Tripping Hazards?

 
brick streets ada compliance

We’ve all seen the America’s Funniest Home Videos and YouTube sensations that show people falling, tripping and slipping in public. Sure those clips can be good for a laugh, but in reality, tripping on an uneven surface can cause serious injuries. Cyclists, for instance, need a smooth (but not slippery) riding surface to avoid losing control or worse, being thrown over the handlebars. 

ISI Envision: Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System

 
Envision Rating System Graphic

The LEED certification program charted the path for infrastructure ratings systems in the U.S. As we’ve mentioned, however, LEED is hardly alone among programs that rate and reward green, sustainable building.

6 Grants for Trails and Greenway Funding

 
American Hiking Society National Trails Fundjpg

Though there’s been a surging demand for trails and greenways in the past few years, obtaining an environmental grant to develop them can be somewhat challenging. There are numerous federal grants and programs, many reserved for local and state government, nonprofits and communities. While privately funded grants are more rare, they do exist.

Wetland Boardwalk Construction: Timber vs. Composite vs. Concrete Decking

 
top down boardwalk construction

Landscape architects and engineers who are interested in building boardwalks over wetlands often have several concerns: the environmental impact of the boardwalk construction process, the appearance of the finished product and the long-term impact of the boardwalk material to the surrounding wetlands. It’s vital to consider which materials to use in building boardwalks over wetlands and what sort of impression they will leave on the ecosystem.

Green Building and Design Standards: SITES Program vs. LEED

 
green building design

PermaTrak is focused on being environmentally responsible in the construction, materials, construction methods and overall footprint of our boardwalks. Our boardwalk systems are well positioned to contribute to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green credits, making them a smart and eco-friendly option. Green building and design is far more than a passing fad. It’s vital to the preservation of our natural spaces to minimize environmental impact and maximize awareness.

Boardwalk Construction to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents

 
composite decking slippery resized 600

Brooklyn’s iconic Coney Island Boardwalk was the center of controversy last year as a group of advocates fought the city’s plans to replace sections of the famous boardwalk with plastic or composite wood decking, along with sections of concrete.

Event: Wolf Lake Boardwalk Construction in Hammond, IN

 
City of Hammond Bike Trail Map resized 600

As a connection for the Wolf Lake Trail in Hammond, IN, the Wolf Lake Boardwalk is nearly complete. Stretching over 1,200 LF, the structure is now believed to be the longest pedestrian bridge in the Midwest.

Multi-Use Trail Design: 6 Economic Benefits

 
Multi Use Path Economic Benefit

Skeptics may wonder what true benefit there is in having trail systems and greenways in a community. They look nice, yes, but do they add real, tangible value to a city or town? The answer is a resounding yes. A multi-use trail design has a consistent, positive impact both in the community and in the economy. Constructing trails and green spaces in our communities is a worthwhile long-term investment.

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