Concrete Boardwalk Installation Over Tree Roots - Charleston, SC

Posted on August 1, 2022

The City of Charleston and Charleston County Transportation Department needed to extend a sidewalk section at Hampton Park, maintaining ADA compliance without damaging the live oak tree roots that were coming out of the ground 6-8’’.

Purchasing additional right of way and acquiring private property to completely avoid the trees would require a lot of time and money. 

Using PermaTrak's shallow piers as a low impact foundation system, the installing contractor set the boardwalk system while avoiding any damage to the tree roots. As you'll see in the video, these 6' long concrete treads were handled manually to speed up the installation. 

Note: The City of Charleston owns the boardwalk, while the Charleston County County Transportation Department managed the design and installation process. 

Read the full video transcript below:
Okay, so today we're going to take a quick look at an installation video from a concrete boardwalk project in Charleston, South Carolina. This is owned by the Charleston County Transportation Department and was installed in 2014. So some of you may be asking now, "Why do you need a boardwalk here instead of the sidewalk? What's wrong with putting a sidewalk in place?"
The answer to that question is in the trees off to the right-hand side of your screen. Those are live oak trees and they have a very substantial root structure. So I'm sure some of us have seen this in the past where there's a sidewalk going over adjacent to a tree or a couple of trees that it's kind of popping up, cracking maybe, and that's because the root structure is pushing up on that sidewalk or pushing up on that asphalt path and creating an uneven walking surface, which is exactly what the owner and the designer here were trying to avoid.

So you can see this team of installers. It's four men in this case, one piece of light lifting equipment. And what these men are moving into place are 6-foot long concrete boardwalk treads. Those are 4 inches thick and 10 inches in the direction of travel. So here they are moving those into place by hand, and you can see they can easily maneuver them and shift them a little bit until they've got the perfect position. So thanks for watching and we look forward to showing you some more installation videos soon.

Topics: Boardwalk Construction