Project Update: Boardwalk Reconstruction at Jupiter Inlet Beach Park

Posted: March 12, 2013
Jupiter Inlet Beach Park Boardwalk resized 600

Jupiter Inlet, FL Boardwalk Reconstruction Project

The timber boardwalk at Jupiter Beach Park on the south side of Jupiter Inlet in Florida took years of beatings from ocean spray, sand abrasion, rough wave action and UV exposure under the FL sun. Originally constructed of Southern Yellow Pine, the Jupiter Inlet District began a search around 2011 to find a decking material that could withstand the harsh coastal environment.

Jupiter Beach Park offers a large jetty where inlet fishing is available 24 hours a day, so the boardwalk leading to this jetty/pier struggled under heavy pedestrian foot traffic. The original boardwalk material constructed of treated Southern Yellow Pine degraded to such an extent that the boardwalk required demolition and a completely new replacement. As timber planks continued to rot, warp, split and twist, this well-known boardwalk at Jupiter Inlet required years of constant management and maintenance funding from the Jupiter Inlet District, a special taxing district. Jupiter boardwalk composite and timber test sections resized 600

Prior to 2012, the Jupiter Inlet District experimented with alternative boardwalk materials, testing a composite boardwalk product as well as South American hardwood Ipe planks. After just a couple of years in this harsh environment, the composite boardwalk planks used in the test section wore down to a smooth finish, creating a slippery walking surface.

The South American hardwood planks deteriorated and began to split, albeit at a slower rate than treated Southern Yellow Pine boards. As these hardwood planks contorted, twisted and faded over time from the humidity, heat and UV exposure, they forced their stainless steel fasteners to strip and pop out. Also, the lack of grip offered by hardwood timber planks resulted in the same slip concerns for Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation Department, the agency which operates and maintains Jupiter Beach Park.  

This is where PermaTrak comes in! The 205 linear ft. x 6 ft. wide beach boardwalk at Jupiter Inlet provided an application where the use of PermaTrak could save Jupiter Inlet District thousands in maintenance costs.

Coastal boardwalk construction quickly and consistently degrades timber or composite products, requiring replacement after 7-12 years.jupiter_inlet_boardwalk_permatrak_800.jpg Reinforced precast concrete offers a more durable, maintenance-free boardwalk material that can stand up to this harsh environment over several decades.

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). PermaTrak's engineering team assisted by providing a detailed set of construction drawings. 

Murray Logan Construction of West Palm Beach completed the removal of the wood and composite boardwalk materials before installing PermaTrak’s precast concrete system with a marine grade, welded aluminum railing. You can find more photos of Florida's Jupiter Inlet boardwalk here. 

For cost information on this project or for other specific project questions, send us a note on our Contact page. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Topics: Boardwalk Materials, Boardwalk Construction, Boardwalk Durability/Maintenance