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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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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. 

Update on Massachusetts DOT Hadley Boardwalk and Multi-Use Trail

 
Norwottuck Rail Trail construction

The Norwottuck Rail Trail is an 11-mile multi-use trail in Massachusetts that links Northampton, Amherst and Hadley and extends from Northampton to Belchertown. Originally a part of the Boston & Main Railroad, built by the Central Massachusetts Railroad Company in 1887, the Norwottuck Rail Trail has proven itself an excellent recreational path for cyclists, pedestrians, wheelchairs, skaters and joggers of all ages since its opening in 1992.

Boardwalk Construction: Installing Concrete Boardwalk Treads by Hand

 
boardwalk construction crane

Heavy Boardwalk Components, Heavy Equipment?

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. 

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