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PermaTrak Project Profiles: Concrete Boardwalks and Pedestrian Bridges

Since its introduction to the US and Canada in 2010, landscape architects and engineers have designed commercial projects using the PermaTrak concrete boardwalk system for various types of applications: fishing piers, urban walkways over sensitive tree roots, pedestrian bridges, elevated greenways, wetland boardwalks and more. The project profiles below share specific boardwalk design and construction challenges. Enjoy!

PermaTrak Packet
halls-bayou-trail-profile-header.jpg

Challenge

Halls Bayou in Houston, TX is a densely wooded enhanced flood drainage canal collecting storm water that eventually joins up with Greens Bayou. The area is prone to heavy rain, making nearly impossible for visitors to trek through the thick mud to explore the area. With large stretches of greenspace traversing 17 miles and no trail to link the two spaces, there was a need for better integration and access, tying one area of the bayou to another. For Clark Condon Associates, finding a solution durable enough to withstand the humid, unforgiving environment was top of mind.

Solution

PermaTrak partnered with Clark Condon to design three elevated PermaTrak boardwalks that link up with other trail segments. The new trail creates a connected path and a more navigable route for visitors to enjoy the area.

PermaTrak's precast concrete boardwalk system gives Houston Parks Board a truly maintenance-free material that won't sag, warp or rot in the humid environment.

In addition to the three PermaTrak concrete boardwalks, restoration efforts and capital improvements are slated for other Houston bayous, as detailed in Houstonia magazine.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 44 ft., 95 ft., and 110 ft.
Tread Width: 13 ft.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: April 2017
Upper_Bee_Branch_Creek_header.jpg

Challenge

The City of Dubuque, Iowa undertook a large scale channel realignment project in 2015, which called for flood mitigation and urban park development. Design efforts encompassed replacing dilapidated bridges,  continuing nearby paths and sidewalks, and developing walkway extensions over vantage points along Upper Bee Branch Creek. The city was looking for two elevated pedestrian walkways that could take pedestrians from an alley to the Kniest Street Basin for sightseeing, as well as a pedestrian bridge over a spillway. Of prime importance to the Strand Associates design team was the walkways’ ease of constructability, and durability that would stand the test of time.

Solution

Strand Associates designed three PermaTrak boardwalks to improve user performance and aesthetic appeal. Two of the structures are elevated pedestrian walkways, and the third is a conventional pedestrian bridge crossing a spillway channel. Eric Veith of Strand Associates notes that the PermaTrak product, “looks great, provides good value, and is performing well.” The team is impressed by its durability and is confident that the precast concrete will have no trouble holding up to the change of seasons and heavy foot traffic in Dubuque. “PermaTrak is a great product,” says Vieth. “The PermaTrak design staff was very easy to work with.”

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 30 ft., 30 ft., and 22 ft.
Tread Width: 8 ft.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: September 2016
logan lake atlanta permatrak boardwalk.png

Challenge

The Atlanta community wanted to experience Logan Lake in historic Adams Park from a different vantage point – with a walking path through the middle of the lake.

“People walking their dogs couldn’t experience the lake...they had to climb a set of stairs and walk away from the lake to rejoin the path. It was disconnected,” said Andrew White, PLA, Director of Park Visioning at Park Pride - the parks advocacy group in Atlanta.

Park Pride was looking for a more navigable solution for park goers that connected existing paths for a fuller view of the lake. One option of cutting into the lake wall wasn’t environmentally friendly, and another option included a wooden boardwalk across the lake that compromised durability. That’s when Park Pride learned about PermaTrak.

Solution

Park Pride and the project designers decided that durability would rule, so they chose a maintenance-free concrete boardwalk to connect walkers, runners and cyclists across beautiful Logan Lake. The specified mixed-material railing with timber posts and stainless steel cable strands creates a modern aesthetic while the community can enjoy the path’s full loop around the lake.

White added, “The boardwalk completely accomplishes the circuit all along the lake. Every time I got out, there’s people using it. It was a good choice.”

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 268 ft. 
Tread Width: 7 ft. 6 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: November 2014
Clabber Creek Trail permatrak boardwalk top.jpg

Challenge

In Fayetteville, AR, the proposed route for a 0.75-mile extension of Clabber Creek Trail brought the trail through some of the city’s wetlands, which are susceptible to flooding. The idea of a boardwalk was rejected by city officials at first, due to potential wetland disturbance and excess shade for the area’s plants; however, the plan was approved when it was discovered that the boardwalk areas could be raised higher above the wetland area, protecting the plants below. For this wet and humid project site, the City desired a boardwalk material that wouldn’t rot or warp.

Solution

After reviewing the pros and cons of different materials for the trail’s boardwalks, including pressure-treated wood and composite decking materials, the City selected PermaTrak because of its durable, maintenance-free concrete system. The City of Fayetteville’s was able to purchase material directly from PermaTrak and use its in-house maintenance team for installation. PermaTrak’s simple construction process and technical field support team helped the City save significant money. The City will continue to see additional savings in its maintenance budget.

Clabber Creek Trail will eventually span seven miles and connect to the rest of Fayetteville’s greenway network. This addition provides a route for students to safely walk from Holcomb Elementary School and Holt Middle School, and will provide greater connectivity to everyone in the community.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 621 ft. and 105 ft. 
Tread Width: 12 ft.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: December 2015
Hadley Norwottuck Rail Trail permatrak boardwalk top.jpg

Challenge

The Norwottuck Rail Trail is an 11-mile path that links several towns along the former Boston & Maine Railway. Due to a dangerous tunnel entrance, the Massachusetts DOT path was being realigned. A nearby stream and environmental permitting restrictions required engineers to evaluate boardwalk options for a portion of the trail near Hadley, Mass. With New England’s harsh winters, a durable, low maintenance solution was also necessary.

Solution

The bike trail’s curved alignment and downhill gradient concerned designers about slippery wood surfaces, so PermaTrak’s textured concrete options were ideal. The path is a popular recreation spot for walkers, runners, and bikers. A PermaTrak boardwalk could accommodate a sizable width and was durable enough to handle the heavy traffic.

“Another factor in our decision was PermaTrak’s ability to assist with the foundation design and detailed design of concrete components,” MassDOT Design Engineer Douglas White said. The new PermaTrak boardwalk has received positive feedback from the public and White expects the boardwalk to stand up to the Northeast’s harsh winters for years to come.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 128 ft.
Tread Width: 13 ft. 3 in.
Color: Savannah Brown
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: May 2014
beech-road-boardwalk

Challenge

In New Albany, OH, engineers with EP Ferris and Associates were working to widen the shoulder along Beech Road to provide safe access for pedestrians and cyclists. Beside the road was a downward slope toward a small lake, making it costly and time consuming to widen the road and relocate the sidewalk. Some of the possible solutions to a problem like this include building a retaining wall and sidewalk or installing an elevated boardwalk.

Solution

EP Ferris and Associates ultimately decided that specifying a PermaTrak elevated walkway was more effective than widening the road shoulder, which would require imported backfill and construction on a retaining wall and sidewalk. “The low maintenance and longevity of PermaTrak made it a great fit,” Matt Sloat of EP Ferris and Associates said. PermaTrak has been an effective application for similar sites and gives engineers a durable and customizable option to consider.

“The city is happy with what was provided and (PermaTrak) is a good fit for the industrial area of Beech Road. I would recommend PermaTrak for other projects. Jason was great to work with and provided drawings which made it a good experience as far as plan development,” Sloat said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 260 ft.
Tread Width: 8 ft. 9 in.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Broom
Installation Date: November 2014
Upper_Tampa_Bay_Trail-top_image.jpg

Challenge

The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is a walking, biking, and road cycling trail in northwest Hillsborough County, FL. Phase IV of the trail enhancement project required several segments through wetland areas. Florida’s harsh UV exposure, heat, and humidity traditionally wear down timber boardwalks after a few years. Cardno TBE was looking for a maintenance-free product that wouldn’t disturb the sensitive wetland area.


“We wanted something more durable with longevity,” Richard Sanders of Hillsborough County said. “In Florida, we have these wetland areas all over the place and we have
a lot of crossings that go through these areas. It’s important when you’re installing something out in the wetlands that you do it without damaging the area,” he added.

Solution

Cardno TBE specified PermaTrak as the basis of design to solve the county’s maintenance concerns. Pepper Contracting’s team utilized an intermediate loading area and installed the PermaTrak system via top down construction. “We liked that feature too, how you could install the boardwalk on top of the existing sections,” Sanders said.

The regional trail was partially funded by Florida DOT, and includes three sections of PermaTrak totaling 2,480 linear feet. The local standard Florida DOT Index 850 railing system (galvanized steel) completed the boardwalks, allowing 12 feet of usable space.

“We appreciated PermaTrak providing all the upfront information we were looking for - the specifications, drawings, all the help provided along the way to get a long-term product out there: something that would have some longevity,” Sanders said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 1,600 ft., 524 ft. and 356 ft. 
Tread Width: 13 ft. 4 in. 
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: March 2015
permatrak_boardwalk_chincoteague_refuge_virginia.png

Challenge

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia is one of the most-visited wildlife refuges in the United States, presenting opportunities for fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking, bird watching, camping and much more. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service needed to provide a safe route for pedestrian and cyclist traffic entering the refuge along the narrow two lane road.

Extending earthen fill into the protected wetlands was not viable, and the 1.5 million annual visitors to the East Coast island location required a long-term solution. U.S. Fish & Wildlife needed to ensure that the specified boardwalk could withstand the traffic and the coastal elements, without disrupting the nature surrounding it.

Solution

By constructing a PermaTrak concrete boardwalk and extending the existing trail system, visitors can now walk, bike, run, and enjoy the wildlife refuge from a new perspective. Designers at Burgess & Niple included an observation deck from the boardwalk for wildlife viewing.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife now has a commercial boardwalk system that can handle the heavy usage, in a sensitive environment. “The main thing that made the product a great fit for the site is that it was a wetland environment,” said Randy Swift of Harkins Contracting, Inc. “Using PermaTrak eliminates any concern of wetland contamination from the normal materials that would have been used to form and pour concrete or blacktop. All we needed was a crane to set the planks and a truck for delivery. All in all, I feel it’s a great product that fits the environment well.”

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 700 ft. 
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Savannah Brown
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: January 2012
White_Oak_Greenway_Underpass_at_NC_Turnpike_-top.jpg

Challenge

The White Oak Creek Greenway originating in Cary, N.C.’s Bond Park had a section removed due to I-540 construction. The Town of Cary needed to rebuild this segment in order to maintain the functionality of the trail, but there were some challenges.

The greenway’s alignment required an elevated boardwalk be built in a protected wetland (non-disturbance area), with a limited vertical clearance under the I-540 bridge. The Town of Cary needed the boardwalk to be designed for a large emergency vehicle, with enough horizontal clearance to maneuver through the boardwalk’s curved alignment.

Solution

A pricing evaluation showed PermaTrak to be more cost-effective than a pressure-treated timber boardwalk. Engineers at LPA Group of North Carolina worked with PermaTrak to design the wide greenway segment for a H-10 truck live load (20,000 pounds).


Raleigh-Durham Roadbuilders implemented a top down construction method to preserve the area’s wetlands. A large excavator was used to vibrate timber piles in place before setting PermaTrak beams and treads - all while operating on top of previously installed boardwalk sections. A smaller Bobcat was used to move the material from the staging area to the excavator, working on top of the boardwalk instead of through the wetland area.

The finished product allows the White Oak Greenway, which will be seven miles long when complete, to continue toward the American Tobacco Trail, a popular 22-mile regional trail in the Triangle Area of North Carolina.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 315 ft. 
Tread Width: 15 ft. 4 in. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: March 2012
MacDonald_Woods_Park_permatrak_boardwalk-top_image_for_web.jpg

Challenge

MacDonald Woods is a low-lying park in the Len’s Branch floodplain in Cary, N.C. The area often floods after heavy rain, and an undersized culvert was failing. The Town of Cary wanted to replace the culvert and build up the creek embankments to prevent flooding. A boardwalk was needed to traverse low land, and a bridge was required to cross the creek area.

Solution

Using PermaTrak's extended length precast beams allowed Ward Consulting Engineers to design a structure that spans the creek, avoiding debris buildup that could occur with additional piers. PermaTrak’s 26-foot span bridge links two areas of the park and features boardwalk ramps on either side.

An additional 22-foot concrete boardwalk structure was installed in the park, required to combat uplift hydraulic forces in the floodplain. The Town of Cary knew they could rely on PermaTrak’s durability and lack of maintenance in this type of floodplain environment after several other successful installations in the area.

Becky Ward, President of Ward Consulting Engineers, praised PermaTrak for providing support and being responsive when her team needed help or changes made to construction drawings. “The PermaTrak structure came out really nicely, providing a nice aesthetic bridge. The elevation change of the bridge makes it a very nice view and walk up over the stream. The Town of Cary really wanted a concrete application that was a long-term, low maintenance solution. It achieved what the client wanted,” Ward said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 22 ft. and 102 ft. 
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: December 2012
Wake_Forest_University-top_image_for_web-small.jpg

Challenge

At a university, maintaining tradition within the style of new structures is integral to the overall look and feel of the campus. Wake Forest University recently faced this challenge as landscape architects from Stimmel Associates planned a new section of campus surrounding Farrell Hall, the university’s state-of-the-art business school. They hoped to preserve the school’s architectural style during the addition of an elevated walkway. An added challenge of this heavily trafficked thoroughfare was the presence of large tree roots that weren’t to be disturbed by the new pedestrian walkway.

Solution

PermaTrak provided the ability to position precast concrete piers in locations that didn’t disturb Wake Forest’s trees, a testament to the boardwalk system’s flexibility. The durability of the precast concrete pedestrian walkway will be sure to withstand the heavy foot traffic from students, faculty and staff. To blend with the traditional look and feel of Wake Forest University, the landscape architecture team chose a color that tied into the environment, and finished the walkway with the standard railing style used across the campus.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of North Carolina concrete boardwalks

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 120 ft. 
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in. 
Color: Savannah Brown
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: August 2013
indiana_concrete_boardwalk_wolf_lake_crossings

Challenge

For the Wolf Lake South Trail in Hammond, Indiana, swale crossings were needed in several low-lying areas to prevent water from overtopping the trail and hindering natural drainage. 

“We’ve seen other trails in the area run into this issue and wanted to learn from it before it became a problem,” said Dean Button, engineer and project manager at SEH, Inc.

Concrete box culverts and perforated metal pipes were also considered. Box culvert options would require a costly increase to the trail profile elevation, while smaller diameter pipes would face debris buildup potential.

Solution

Six identical boardwalk crossings, each 20 feet in length, were designed and installed throughout the Wolf Lake South Trail to allow proper drainage into the lake. 

The PermaTrak clear span boardwalk crossings alleviated drainage concerns while bringing an attractive, recreational feel to the trail.

Dean Button also praised PermaTrak’s engineering team for their helpful communication when putting together bid document packets for these boardwalk crossings.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of Indiana concrete boardwalks

Related: These crossings are not the only contribution PermaTrak has made to the Wolf Lake South Trail. In another project, PermaTrak worked with SEH designers and James McHugh Construction to design and install the Wolf Lake Boardwalk —the longest pedestrian bridge in the Midwest and a part of the Wolf Lake South Trail.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths:
6 crossings - 20 ft. each
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: September 2012
Hampton Park Profile top half for website

Challenge 

Charleston, SC is well known for its awe-inspiring live oak trees. Especially in a city like Charleston, they offer a unique character and deep sense of history. Both the City of Charleston and Charleston County work to create safe walkways for pedestrians while protecting these trees from damage.

These agencies 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.  

Solution

Eric Adams, P.E., an Engineering Manager at Charleston County Transportation Department, describes PermaTrak’s boardwalk system as a unique product that can be used to preserve these sensitive tree roots. “This provided another solution to our problem…it’s just another tool in the toolbox to get around difficult areas,” he said.

Installing PermaTrak’s low impact pier foundations and extended beams, “LTS Construction did a good job with installation, avoided any damage to the tree roots and accomplished the goal of the project,” he added. Together, the City of Charleston and Charleston County’s decision preserved these live oak trees for future generations to enjoy.  

Watch the 2-minute video showing how LTS Construction handled these concrete treads manually in order to speed up the boardwalk construction process.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 105 ft.
Tread Width: 6 ft.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Broom
Installation Date: March 2014
Riverside Drive Park Pedestrian Bridges

Challenge

Riverside Drive Park’s development project included construction of small trail offshoots to be used heavily by maintenance vehicles. For these legs of the trail, the City of Dublin looked to find an alternative to traditional timber pedestrian bridges. The Parks and Open Space Department needed a durable material that was a cost-effective and long-term solution the city could rely on.

Solution

Janco LLC installed 16-foot beams supplied by PermaTrak to span across the large creek. PermaTrak’s concrete toe curbs were used to prevent maintenance vehicles from taking an unwanted nose dive.

Riverside Drive Park now boasts a PermaTrak structure that won’t need a replacement in the near future. “With a timber bridge you’re expecting it to last 10 to 20 years-I kind of question how long it will last, there’s a lot of different factors that affect timber bridges,” said Scott Sonnenberg, owner of Eco Design & Engineering. The short lifespan of timber pedestrian bridges pales in comparison to the longevity of this precast concrete boardwalk. “Once that thing is in place you’re not going to have to mess with it for a long time. My guess is 50 years,” Sonnenberg added. The City of Dublin’s PermaTrak application sets a much higher standard for design life of future pedestrian bridges across the district area.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 16 ft.
Tread Width: 9 ft. 
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: October 2011
Hurricane Creek Pedestrian Bridges

Challenge

Rapid population growth in Lavergne since the 1990s has placed a premium on efficient land use, bike trails, pedestrian bridges and durable greenway systems. Lose & Associates consultants evaluated several pedestrian bridge types for the Hurricane Creek Greenway master plan, searching for a long-term structure that would install quickly and complement the overall greenway design. 

Solution

PermaTrak’s pedestrian bridges are designed and engineered for ease of installation. Once a retaining wall and foundation work had been completed, Rollins Excavating set PermaTrak’s precast concrete abutments, 24-foot beams, and boardwalk treads in under two working days. “It was a new product that we thought would fit, especially with the ease of bringing it into the site and quick installation time. We’re very happy with the way it came out,” said Lee Davidson of Lose & Associates. With a variety of colors and texture options, PermaTrak’s pedestrian bridges can enhance the project’s overall design profile.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 24 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: November 2011
Beckett Park Wetland Boardwalk Design

Challenge

Beckett Park gives visitors an extensive trail system that provides ample space to walk, run, fish or bike. A boardwalk was needed to connect these pathways in two locations: above an existing weir wall and through a man-made wetland area. West Chester Township desired a cost-effective solution; weir wall rebuilding efforts would require significant time and money. The second location called for a wetland boardwalk design that would split two ponds and keep a low profile. Woolpert needed a product with design flexibility to accommodate the desired curved alignments of both boardwalks. 

Solution

Bray Construction poured concrete piers and used PermaTrak’s cap components to elevate the first boardwalk application in front of the existing weir wall. Woolpert’s recommendation to avoid rebuilding efforts on the weir wall saved money and kept the project within the owner’s budget. “We didn’t want to reconstruct the outfall structure for the pond. With the PermaTrak system, we could leave the existing structure untouched, operating as it was designed to operate,” said Bruce Rankin, Woolpert’s Project Director. Bray also constructed the second PermaTrak application, following the curve of Woolpert’s wetland boardwalk design.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of completed concrete boardwalks in our gallery.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 60 ft. and 87 ft.  
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: May 2011
concrete-boardwalk-siu-campus-lake-carbondale-il.jpg

Challenge

Campus Lake of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) is a 43-acre spring-fed lake set amongst woodlands. The lake area is popular for students walking across campus to get to class, and is also the site of many campus-wide events like the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta, the Doc Spackman Memorial Triathlon, Moonlight Canoeing, and fundraising and awareness walks. As part of a lake improvement program in 2014, the university sought to better utilize this functional lake through the construction of an attractive, durable pedestrian bridge. Designers from White & Borgognoni wanted to provide students and faculty with a pathway across the lake where they could take in the beauty of the nature around them.

Solution

White & Borgognoni Architects specified a unique layout of winding PermaTrak pedestrian bridges spanning 293 linear feet. The curved design and low profile stainless steel cable strand railing add to the university’s aesthetic appeal, and provide students with an attractive option for crossing the lake. The bridge’s durability and ability to handle vehicular loading up to 10,000 lbs. make it a solution that will hold up to the seasons, heavy foot traffic, and usage for various campus events.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 293 ft.
Tread Width: 10 ft.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: August 2014
city-of-sarnia-riverfront-boardwalk

Challenge

In 2014, a nearly 1,200-foot long timber pedestrian promenade in Ontario’s City of Sarnia was nearing the end of its life. The pressure treated timber lasted less than 20 years in Canada’s harsh winters, and had rotted to the point where the substructure was failing and boards could no longer be nailed down, rendering it essentially irreparable.

Adjacent to a rail spur, built over a steep bank, and including physical obstacles like fire hydrants, GPS survey monuments, and light poles, this location required attention to detail by the engineering team. A slab on grade (cast-in-place concrete) was not practical for the elevated portion of the walkway. The city’s operations team was adamant that the replacement be more durable, lower maintenance, and have a higher life expectancy than a wood boardwalk.

Solution

Looking into several boardwalk material options, City of Sarnia Construction Manager Rob Williams came across PermaTrak. Working together, the city and PermaTrak were able to design a creative solution to address restrictions and work around obstacles. “The PermaTrak team was really great – working with the model and starting from the initial conversation with Jason,” recalls Rob, “The drafting was very high quality. They were all about satisfying us and our needs.”

The existing wood boardwalk was removed, PermaTrak foundations and a precast concrete boardwalk were installed, and a metal railing was attached. “Two winters in and it still looks good,” notes Rob, “the boardwalk really does look quite sharp. I think it really stands out as a more reasonable replacement to the boardwalk that was there.”

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 816 ft. 7 in. 
Tread Width: Varies from 6 ft. to 14 ft. 3 in.
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: July 2015
quarry-park-pedestrian-bridges

Challenge

In 1998, a 225-acre property that featured an abandoned granite quarry was donated to the City of Winston-Salem, NC. Over the next 20 years, the property was used as an “organic landfill” and become a dumping ground for Christmas trees and other yard waste. After a referendum in 2016, the City allotted approximately $5 million to renovate the area into a public park.

The large scale of the park was a unique challenge for the City. With difficult terrain and remote spaces, the City wanted to use a product with zero maintenance and enough strength and durability for emergency vehicles to cross. They also wanted the park to have an industrial look that tied into the history of the area.

Solution

What was once considered a “hidden gem” for fishing and swimming in Winston-Salem, Quarry Park has been reinvented as a premier park in the area. As part of the transformation, Stimmel Associates specified a 40-foot PermaTrak pedestrian bridge that connects visitors to a nearby residential area, and across the park, a 50-foot bridge through an oak forest.

Installation for the maintenance-free pedestrian bridges took roughly one day each and went very smoothly. The concrete boardwalk system, coupled with a galvanized steel and cable railing, provides long-term strength and durability, while adding an industrial feel to the project.

The City of Winston-Salem was pleased with the PermaTrak structures as a long-term solution. In fact, the City liked it so much that they used PermaTrak on a different project that they were involved with.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 40 ft. and 50 ft. 
Tread Width: 10 ft.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: July 2017
rotary trail permatrak pedestrian crossings alabama.png

Challenge

As part of its 100-year anniversary, the Birmingham, AL Rotary Club provided $3.5 million dollars to build a trail that connects Railroad Park to another Birmingham landmark, the Sloss Furnaces. Working with the Rails to Trails Conservancy, the City of Birmingham converted the out-of-use Seaboard Air Line railroad bed into a public use trail that could be enjoyed by people of all ages.

The railway, which was previously covered in graffiti and debris, sits 20 feet below street level and required two footbridge crossings over low points where water collects. With over 600,000 annual visitors to the adjacent Railroad Park, designers from Page Duke Landscape Architects needed to specify a durable product. 

Solution

PermaTrak’s maintenance-free boardwalk system was a perfect solution for handling the commercial trail’s high amount of foot and bicycle traffic. The City is saving on maintenance costs with a concrete material that doesn’t turn out rotted or warped deck boards- even in a humid, Southern climate.

The trail provides space for walking, jogging, bike riding, dog walking, and other popular activities at the park, and converted what was once an abandoned railroad bed into a thriving public recreational space. The pedestrian crossings at Rotary Trail are PermaTrak’s first installation in the state of Alabama and have generated excitement from both locals and visitors.

Railroad Park offers two playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, a skating area, Railroad Park Dining Car, solar-powered cell phone charging stations, free Wi-Fi, and the iconic 46-foot “Rotary Trail in the Magic City” sign.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 82 ft. and 140 ft. 
Tread Width: 9 ft.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: June 2015
camp creek greenway trail lilburn ga permatrak.png

Challenge

In Lilburn, GA, a nine-year-old wooden boardwalk above a marshy floodplain was facing significant deterioration due to rotting and general wear and tear.

The City of Lilburn enlisted the help of PermaTrak and the Jacobs Engineering design team in order to upgrade to a more permanent, longer-lasting solution that would eliminate the need for ongoing wood maintenance.

Solution

The City of Lilburn ultimately invested in a maintenance-free concrete boardwalk product that carries a design life of 50 to 75 years. The 40-foot replacement pedestrian bridge by PermaTrak - the first of its kind in Georgia - includes a 20-foot beam over the stream that will prevent debris runoff and ease the city’s burden of debris clearing.

The new pedestrian-friendly design is a treasure to the walkers, runners and cyclists of Lilburn, GA, and future boardwalk upgrades are being planned over the next five years.

Mayor Johnny Crist said, "Lilburn residents are very active and treasure the Camp Creek Greenway Trail as the city's most prized amenity. The City of Lilburn will continue to invest in the health of the greenway."

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 40 ft. 
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: September 2015
Lower_McAlpine_Creek_Greenway_Top.jpg

Challenge

Located in a floodplain, Lower McAlpine Creek Greenway in Charlotte, N.C. experienced several storm events that caused debris to build up under a truss bridge. Under heavier storm events, the stream would flow over the top of the banks and eventually scoured the earthen fill at each abutment. For safety reasons, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation removed the bridge and looked for a way to allow water flow without an obstacle.

Solution

The bridge was raised five feet higher, and a PermaTrak concrete boardwalk was constructed to connect the bridge with the existing path. “Maintenance issues have been corrected because we were able to raise the bridge deck elevation to prevent the span acting like a dam each time debris laden flood waters rushed downstream,” project engineer Jeff Oden of Stewart, Inc. said. 

Having experienced timber boardwalks wearing down in the area, PermaTrak was the durable, long-lasting solution Mecklenburg County was looking for on the greenway. “We selected the concrete material over treated wood due to an expectation that it would last much longer than wood,” Oden said.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 80 ft. and 72 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.  
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: November 2012
White_Rock_Creek_-_top_image.jpg

Challenge

The White Rock Creek Trail is a 7.6 mile linear trail northeast of downtown Dallas, running alongside White Rock Creek. As a heavily used thoroughfare by walkers, runners, and cyclists, the city had plans to expand the trail. A curved crossing needed to be built in a unique area where the creek water flows into a low backwater area.

Due to potential flooding of the creek, city designers were looking for an elevated structure to span the low areas where flooding is common. They were also hoping to find a structure durable enough to handle ice in the winter and extremely hot days in summer.

Solution

The city’s design consultant, Pacheco Koch, partnered with the PermaTrak team to develop a crossing at the site. As heavy rains in the year following installation proved, an elevated structure was absolutely necessary for this site. A wooden deck would have been slippery and treacherous for the trail’s cyclists, so PermaTrak’s concrete surface was a welcomed solution.

Finished with a welded galvanized steel railing, the elevated boardwalk enhances one of Dallas’ premier trails and is the ideal application for the use of PermaTrak’s precast concrete boardwalk system.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 217 ft. 
Tread Width: 13 ft. 0 in.  
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: August 2014
Van_Wezel_permatrak_pier_top_image_for_web-small.jpg

Challenge

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center is set on Sarasota’s picturesque bay front and attracts locals and tourists to experience a variety of music, dance, theater, and comedy. Four viewing piers are on the grounds of this landmark, and they extend over the bay, making them vulnerable to harsh coastal conditions such as UV and salt water exposure. The existing timber platforms were constructed on concrete piles, but the wood decking was not holding up to the elements.

Solution

With the help of PermaTrak’s engineering team, the Atkins design consultants prepared bid documents specifying a precast concrete system to replace the worn down timber platforms. Bayshore Construction was hired to remove the existing timber superstructure, then install the PermaTrak system and a sleek marine-grade aluminum railing. This retrofit solution on the existing concrete piles was possible with the PermaTrak system due to the design flexibility of its beam and tread components.

The newly finished PermaTrak viewing piers will ensure that Van Wezel visitors can enjoy bay front viewing for years to come.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of Florida concrete boardwalks.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths:
3 piers - 20 ft. x 20 ft. 
1 pier - 32 ft. x 20 ft. 
Tread Width: Varies from 7 ft. to 10 ft. 
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Broom
Installation Date: August 2014
Jupiter_Inlet_boardwalk_top_photo.jpg

Challenge

Jupiter Beach Park sits on the Atlantic Ocean in beautiful Palm Beach County, FL, featuring a large jetty where inlet fishing is available 24 hours a day. The boardwalk leading to this pier was worn down from heavy foot traffic, saltwater spray, and Florida’s harsh UV rays.

Originally constructed of Southern Yellow Pine, the Jupiter Inlet District had been experimenting for several years with different boardwalk products, in search of a decking material that could withstand the jetty environment. Frustration set in when the Southern Yellow Pine planks warped and split, the composite decking became slippery, and the hardwood planks faded and showed screws popping up on the walking surface.

Solution

Taylor Engineering specified PermaTrak for its durability in harsh coastal conditions, then led the project through design and permitting with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

Murray Logan Construction completed the removal of the wood and composite boardwalk materials before installing PermaTrak’s precast concrete system with a marine grade, welded aluminum railing.

PermaTrak was an ideal fit for Jupiter Inlet District’s boardwalk reconstruction project, as its proven resiliency against harsh UV rays and saltwater spray will save thousands of dollars in maintenance.

Find more photos of Florida's Jupiter Inlet boardwalk here. 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 205 ft.  
Tread Width: 6 ft. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: March 2015
permatrak pedestrian crossings cleveland ohio zone recreation center.png

Challenge

In 2012, the Michael Zone Recreation Center Park near downtown Cleveland, OH, was revitalized with new baseball fields, tennis courts, a playground, a splash park and a dog park. With the new recreational areas, the city wanted to protect the surrounding wetland environment.

McKnight Associates led the design effort for pedestrian walkways to cross over several man-made swales in three low-lying areas. The green space was expected to get a lot of wear and tear, so a durable walkway product was necessary.

Solution

PermaTrak was the perfect maintenance-free solution for this urban setting, which gets plenty of lake effect snow in the winter and heavy foot traffic during the rest of the year.

McKnight Associates worked with PermaTrak to design the three boardwalk crossings in the park: two smaller 30-foot crossings, and a cross-shaped pedestrian pathway comprised of a 60-foot boardwalk and a 50-foot boardwalk.

The boardwalks were designed and built to sustain storm water runoff, without impacting the natural environment.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Lengths: 110 ft., 30 ft., and 30 ft. 
Tread Widths: 11 ft. 3 in. and 7 ft. 6 in. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: March 2011
Villages_Florida_Live_Oak_Park_Observation_Deck

Challenge

The Villages, an active adult retirement community in central Florida, wanted to construct an observation pier offering a view of the grasslands at Live Oak Park. The private development, which hosts a large population of senior citizens, needed a long lasting and easy-to-maintain building material for its boardwalk and scenic observation pier. 

The maintenance headaches and impermanence of wood decking was a significant challenge for The Villages District Property Management, the department responsible for upholding and maintaining The Village’s infrastructure.

Solution

PermaTrak offered a more permanent alternative to timber decking: precast concrete. Michael Pape, Landscape Architect Principal at Michael Pape & Associates, who specified the PermaTrak boardwalk system, says the “project turned out well” as a structure that requires no maintenance and will last for decades to come. He includes that he is “glad to see the finished boardwalk product looks so nice.” 

PermaTrak’s concrete boardwalk system stood out among other boardwalk options because of its strength and durability in comparison to other materials, particularly pressure-treated timber. Today, The Villages’ visitors and residents can enjoy Florida sunsets with an elevated wetlands view from the observation platform.

Request a literature brochure on the PermaTrak system or see more photos of Florida concrete boardwalks.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 45 ft.
Tread Width: 6 ft. 
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: January 2012
Wolf Lake Profile top half for website

Challenge 

The Wolf Lake Trail in Hammond, Indiana is a 6-mile recreational multi-use path that links Lake Michigan to northwest Indiana’s inland bodies of water. The trail was missing a link between the North Trail and South Trail and needed an elevated crossing to loop over Wolf Lake. 

As part of a $100 million redevelopment project funded by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), designers from SEH knew they needed to specify a durable material with a longer lifespan to withstand heavy use from thousands of pedestrians and cyclists each year.

Solution

SEH, assisted by PermaTrak’s engineers, designed a unique curved boardwalk that stretches roughly 1,050 linear feet across Wolf Lake. Elevated roughly 9 feet above the water, kayaks and canoes can easily pass underneath the boardwalk. James McHugh Construction installed PermaTrak’s precast concrete beams and concrete treads with a Sandblast texture finish. 

The PermaTrak boardwalk material was the best option because it is “deterrent, won’t burn and can’t be easily taken apart,” says SEH engineer and project manager Dean Button. It also features “durability and resistance to vandalism.”

Button is pleased with the outcome of the project - including its integrated steel railing system. “To build something offsite, have holes pre-fabricated, bring it to the site and have it fit up the way it did was just amazing,” he adds.

Hammond Port Authority’s final greenway link creates a vibrant multi-use path for walkers, runners, and cyclists to use for decades to come.

On June 1, 2014, Leon’s Triathlon showcased hundreds of athletes using the concrete boardwalk at Wolf Lake Trail. Watch the 2-minute video to hear feedback from the triathletes, how they felt running across the concrete boardwalk. 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 1,050 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: December 2013
Osprey Harbor Village Observation Deck Coastal Construction

Challenge

Kayaking is an adventure sport that has gained popularity among local Floridians and snow birds from the North hoping to take advantage of year round warm weather. The Board of Directors and property managers at Osprey Harbor Village recognized many residents adopting this trend. A coastal construction project to include an observation deck and kayak launch would give villa owners water access and a pleasant area to relax. But on the salty intercoastal waterway in Osprey, traditional boardwalk materials would be crippled exponentially over time by the rough marine environment. 

Solution

Duncan Seawall installed a L-shaped PermaTrak observation deck and kayak launch to enhance Osprey Harbor Village’s shore. “Not only does it provide safe access to the water, but a pleasant observation area for residents to further enjoy our park-like setting. This new structure adds a great deal to the value of our location on the Intercostal Waterway and will be enjoyed thoroughly by residents for many years to come,” said Dale Ludwig, Board President at Osprey Harbor Village. The modular precast concrete system void of steel connectors will withstand the rough environment with high UV exposure and salt water abrasion. As a cost-competitive alternative to composite lumber products, PermaTrak’s maintenance-free system finally provides a relief to coastal boardwalk construction headaches. 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 47 ft.
Tread Widths: 4 ft. and 7 ft. 6 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: May 2011
Judaculla Rock Observation Deck

Challenge 

Judaculla Rock is a 2,000-3,000 year old soapstone boulder, the Southeast’s largest petroglyph, and a sacred site on a Native American settlement in North Carolina. Cherokee legend attributes the markings to a protective, slant-eyed giant who left his foot and hand prints on the rock. Jackson County Parks and Recreation needed to construct an observation deck in order to accomplish three things: prevent damage from pedestrian foot traffic, enhance the visitor experience, and appease the seven-fingered Judaculla giant.

Solution

Collaborating with Equinox Environmental, PermaTrak designed a horseshoe-shaped observation deck complete with several cantilevered lookout points extending towards Judaculla Rock. “The craftsmanship and engineering on it made for an easy project to install,” said installer Doug Parker. Non-intrusive precast concrete pier foundations made certain the installation and finished product respected the integrity of the land.

Fred Grogan of Equinox Environmental reported, “The PermaTrak system was selected for this project over a wooden structure based on a number of factors. These included ease of ongoing maintenance, ability of prefabricated components to easily achieve design intent of the observation deck, as well as minimal installation costs by utilizing in-house Jackson County employees.”

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 70 ft.
Tread Width: 7 ft. 6 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: March 2011
Glastonbury Multi Use Path Trail Design

Challenge

A safe and durable boardwalk section was needed to extend a new multi-use path through a protected wetland area in Glastonbury, CT. The boardwalk required a live load design to account for a 10,000 lb. vehicle (H5 truck). Construction efforts on the boardwalk system needed to minimize disturbance to this environmentally sensitive area. Furthermore, the original boardwalk trail design included challenging horizontal and vertical alignment changes. The Town of Glastonbury needed a product with engineered design flexibility to fit the multi-use path’s original layout. 

Solution

Glastonbury’s engineers selected a skid-resistant Sandblast finish to help prevent bike tires from losing their grip on a winding trail design - even in shady, wet areas. Cast-in-place concrete piles were selected from a variety of PermaTrak foundation options.

Connecticut Carpentry capitalized on the boardwalk’s load carrying capacity as they installed the treads using top-down construction, minimizing the impact on the wetlands. Not only was the PermaTrak system engineered to meet the live load requirement, but its design flexibility allowed for the multi-use path alignment to be essentially unchanged from concept to construction. “We are pleased with the overall appearance of the finished product,” said Glastonbury engineer Stephen Braun. “It fits very well with the path.” 

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 150 ft.
Tread Width: 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: October 2011
Mellow Mushroom Concrete Boardwalk

Challenge

Landscape Architect Chris Darnell of J.K. Tiller & Associates, Inc. needed to design an elevated walkway that would run along the back wall of a proposed upscale pizza restaurant, the Mellow Mushroom. A principal goal of the design was to maintain the integrity of the live oaks, Hilton Head’s signature trees. “A lot of people come to Hilton Head to experience and interact with nature and that’s one of the charges the town has taken on, to preserve that environment,” Darnell said. 

Solution

The base component of PermaTrak’s concrete boardwalk pier system was buried just 18 in. below grade. This shallow modular design minimized disturbance to the root system for Hilton Head’s famous live oak trees. “The footprint of the PermaTrak system is very reduced. In other words, only (the area) where the piers go has to be excavated to put in a footer. Otherwise everything else with the PermaTrak is left undisturbed and that’s ideal for what we were trying to do,” Darnell said. 

PermaTrak’s precast concrete boardwalk material gives the Mellow Mushroom restaurant a long-term, durable structure. This elevated boardwalk will readily handle years of heavy use from commercial equipment, machines, hand trucks, trash dumpsters, and other restaurant prep traffic.

Technical Description
Boardwalk Length: 46 ft.
Tread Widths: 3 ft. 9 in. and 7 ft. 6 in.
Color: Melbourne Tan
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: February 2011

PermaTrak Boardwalks in Australia

PermaTrak concrete boardwalk system was invented in 1996 by Australian landscape architect Franek Savarton. Before PermaTrak North America started in 2010, dozens of boardwalk projects were installed throughout Australia to solve common boardwalk design challenges. You can read more about PermaTrak boardwalks in Australia here.