Railings & Curbs
Engineers and landscape architects have plenty of material options in designing a boardwalk's railing system, including timber, composite, aluminum, and steel.
Below are some important boardwalk railing design items to consider, regardless of the type of boardwalk material specified:
- Boardwalk railings are designed per Section 13 of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. This live load consists of a uniform load of 50 plf and point load of 200 lbs applied per AASHTO.
- Per the International Building Code, a railing measuring a minimum 42 inches from boardwalk surface is required where the boardwalk surface to grade elevation exceeds 30 inches (See "Section 3.9.2 - Geometry" in Railings Section of AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications). This is also in accordance with AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities.
- Otherwise, where the grade separation is less than 30 inches, curbs may be used as a “warning bumper” or “toe curb," although they are not required.
- Local code requirements for bicyclist applications determine whether the railing needs to be 42 inches or 54 inches tall.
PermaTrak® Railing Connections
Timber Railing, Steel Bracket
PermaTrak supplies the top-mounted bracket and would pre-form holes in the treads where needed so that the contractor does not have to drill in the field. The bracket can be powder coated as shown in the photos or galvanized. There is a minimal cost difference for the upgrade to galvanized steel brackets.
Typically, the railings are connected via a threaded bolted connection passing between the treads at the joint. Nut and plates are installed on the underside of the treads.
PermaTrak® Railing Connection Examples
Common Railing Solutions
Below are some different railing types we have seen used in conjunction with the PermaTrak boardwalk system. While PermaTrak does not supply these railings and have not created any specifications, we have been involved in many boardwalk designs and have assembled a library of details and specifications from other designers. Contact us with your boardwalk railing questions, we're happy to help.
PermaTrak® Concrete Curbs
As mentioned above, on boardwalk applications where the walking surface is less than 30'' above grade, PermaTrak can supply a precast concrete curb, otherwise referred to as a "toe curb."