PermaTrak Enhances Cultural Site at Judaculla Rock - North Carolina

Posted: October 12, 2010
judaculla rock photo

PermaTrak North America has been awarded the boardwalk project at Judaculla Rock by North Carolina’s Jackson County Recreation/Parks Department.

The Judaculla Rock Preservation Project is a restoration effort aimed at preventing further environmental damage to Judaculla Rock, protecting the surrounding land and water, and respecting the natural character and integrity of the site – all while enhancing the visitor experience.

Judaculla Rock is located in a 15-acre site that was once a prehistoric Native American settlement. This ancient soapstone boulder, covered with deeply-etched petroglyphs of unknown origin, dates back to 1000–200 B.C. and contributes archeological significance to the area. Cherokee legend attributes the markings to a giant being who left his foot and hand prints on the rock.

The Jackson County Recreation/Parks Department cooperated with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and other stakeholders in developing plans to improve the area. In doing so, it was imperative that the design respect the indigenous community’s rich history and preserve the archeological site. A key component of the project was a permanent, publicly-accessible walkway with a viewing platform around sacred Judaculla Rock, which will discourage foot traffic onto the sacred grounds.

judaculla rock site layout

Collaborating with Equinox™ Environmental Consultation & Design Inc., PermaTrak™ has designed a unique, horseshoe shaped boardwalk around the rock. In order to minimize the soil disturbance, the footings for this application are only 18 inches deep. Additionally, a 10-foot long crossing will be constructed over a nearby swale. Fred Grogan, of Equinox, 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.“

“The PermaTrak system was selected for this project because it will enhance the site as an eco-friendly, durable boardwalk that will provide longevity for the Judaculla Rock Preservation Project while also saving the county maintenance costs,” says PermaTrak’s President, Jason Philbin. Installation is scheduled for late Fall 2010.

Update: You can view pictures of the installed observation pier around Judaculla Rock

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