In honor of summer, we’re taking a look at a few places that are hard not to love. They’re packed with kiosks selling tasty confections, restaurants serving up seafood and French fries, roller coasters, carnival-style games and attractions and, really, just a whole lot of fun.
When it comes to the big three commercial boardwalk materials (wood, composite decking and concrete), the competition is steep. We realize it can be difficult to find reliable information through the plethora of sales pitches, discussions at trade shows, online or print ads. Sugarcoated or incomplete information can make more work for designers or owners researching their boardwalk or pedestrian bridge options.
If you are an architect or engineer designing a boardwalk or pedestrian bridge, you may have a specific clearance width in mind. The dozens of professional designers I talk with each week tell me, "I need an 8' clearance or a 10' clearance for my trail project." Does this sound familiar?
If you have reached the point of determining the structure's clear width requirement, you may be wondering, "What is the minimum width for a PermaTrak boardwalk?" or "Can a PermaTrak boardwalk be produced for a custom width?"
Topics: Boardwalk Design
Occasionally our engineering team here at PermaTrak works with designers who need to specify a trail or greenway structure that is designed for heavy loading requirements, above a standard pedestrian loading of 60, 90 or 100 psf. This is especially common with commercial multi use trail projects, wide boardwalks, pedestrian bridge segments and structures that must be built via top down construction. Here is some information on the heavier loading that has been incorporated into our PermaTrak concrete boardwalk designs.
Topics: Boardwalk Design
Commercial Boardwalk Design: ADA Compliance
At PermaTrak, we frequently receive questions concerning boardwalk compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a boardwalk designer, I consult the ADA guidelines for horizontal gaps, vertical changes, boardwalk slopes, ramps, railing requirements, etc. on a daily basis. First for some ADA background information -
Specific Requirements of the Americans with Disabilities ActIn 1991 the Department of Justice adopted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. These standards required newly constructed and renovated places of public accommodation and commercial use to be designed in ways that prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability. In 2010, the ADA received revised standards concerning accessibility.
2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
I thought it would be helpful to summarize the 2010 ADA revised standards related to horizontal gaps, vertical changes, walking surface slopes, railing requirements, etc. for those of us designing ADA compliant boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, and other structures for multi use trails.
I'd also like to post my answers to several common questions specific to PermaTrak and ADA compliance. As a new boardwalk system, these may be the first questions a designer new to PermaTrak may ask us:
- Is the entire PermaTrak system ADA compliant?
- Can PermaTrak's boardwalk system be used on applications where a slope is needed? If so, does it meet ADA requirements?
- What is the max slope you can achieve with a PermaTrak boardwalk?
As a landscape architect or engineer, you may have faced this situation before: where your client is looking for a solution to widen a road shoulder that has a steep slope off its side - in order to provide access for pedestrians and cyclists.
I recently came across an article posted on Facebook from a fellow Charlotte triathlete about concrete vs. asphalt paving surfaces for runners. This article piqued my interest for a couple of reasons:
Topics: Boardwalk Materials
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.
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.