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Videos: Commercial Boardwalk Cost and Design Information 

What Is the Maximum Concrete Boardwalk Width?

If you are an architect or engineer, you're probably familiar with the terms "usable width" or "clear width" as they relate to boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, and multi use trails. One of the common questions that comes up with the PermaTrak boardwalk system relates to these terms-  "How wide can the boardwalk be?"

You may want to match the boardwalk's usable space to that of a connecting sidewalk or multi use trail. We've seen usable width requirements anywhere from 6' to 15' clear, depending on code requirements and what the boardwalk or pedestrian bridge will be used for. Watch the video below to hear more about width capabilities when designing with PermaTrak's concrete boardwalk system. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Key Takeaways:

  • In one tread, PermaTrak's maximum width is 15'-4'' (see photos of installed boardwalk projects of varying clear widths)
  • Keep in mind you'll need to evaluate any loading requirements required by code, as we explain further in this video:  
    • Narrow walkways will have lower loading requirements (60-100 pounds per square foot) than a pier or obversation decks/piers. 
    • For wider walkways, such as observation decks/piers, you may have to design for 100-250 psf.
    • Wider walkways may need to be designed for vehicular loads, and can become quite substantical for something like an emergency vehicle (H5 or H10 loading requirements)
    • If your boardwalk is 7 to 10 feet wide, the AASHTO LRFD Guide Specifications for Design of Pedestrian Bridges requires it to be designed for an H-5 truck (10,000 lb. vehicular load). If your boardwalk is over 10 feet wide, code requires it to be designed for an H-10 truck (20,000 lb. vehicular load). 
  • In cases where you want to go even wider with your boardwalk or pedestrian bridge, PermaTrak's engineering team can , place 2 or 3 side by side, in the case of a 15' clear (with railing system)

download sample boardwalk drawings

Related Articles:

Full transcript: 

"I'm often asked 'how wide of a boardwalk, what is your limiting width that goes into a boardwalk?'

There really is no limit when it comes to a PermaTrak boardwalk system. I've often heard that someone wants a 8' clear, 10' clear...and more commonly, recently 12' and 14' clears. And you'll see from our technical components page that our maximum width in one tread is 15'-4''. 

For cases where you'd want to go wider than that, we've done this in projects, you'd place two or three treads side by side. We were recently working on a project where the designer wanted a 15' clear so we placed two 7'-6'' treads side by side..."

Related Articles & Videos

Boardwalk at Wolf Lake Trail in Hammond, IN - Leon's Triathlon

A PermaTrak boardwalk at Wolf Lake saw its heaviest action to date by camera crews on motorcycles and golf carts following hundreds of runners during the first race of Chicagoland's Tri Series...watch video now

Boardwalk with "Sandblast" Slip Resistant Texture

Boardwalks and pedestrian bridges can be especially slippery when wet. PermaTrak's "Sandblast" texture was used on this greenway to offer an anti-slip surface...watch video now

Top 3 Benefits of PermaTrak's Concrete Boardwalk System

Over the years we've identified 3 specific characteristics for the types of projects where PermaTrak provides the most long-term value to an owner...watch video now

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About These Boardwalk Videos

These boardwalk videos are intended for landscape architects, engineers, and agency or municipality professionals.

In addition to answering PermaTrak-specific questions, our team of engineers and technical consultants aims to provide educational resources for designing and building boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, trail and greenway systems. Enjoy!  

free boardwalk project assessment 9

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