PermaTrak Wetland Boardwalks Installed at Clabber Creek in Arkansas

Posted: October 4, 2016

Clabber Creek Wetland Boardwalk Installation 

PermaTrak boardwalk construction is wrapping up at Fayetteville’s Clabber Creek Trail this week. Two 12 ft. wide PermaTrak boardwalk sections are included in this new ¾ mile long extension of the existing trail. Clabber_Creek_Trail_GIS_Map-4.jpgThe addition runs between Rupple Road and Salem Road and spans northeast across Gary Hampton Softball Complex to Holcomb Elementary School, providing greater connectivity for the city’s cyclists, runners, and walkers.
The project was funded by both the city and the Walton Family Foundation in Arkansas, which has funded dozens of miles of trails in the Northwest Arkansas (NWA) area, including the 2.2 mile long Town Branch Trail, which opened in June. 

At 621 LF and 105 LF respectively, the two PermaTrak elevated boardwalk segments allow users to continue on the trail through a floodplain type of area. 

After purchasing the PermaTrak material directly from PermaTrak, the City of Fayetteville served as both the project manager and the contractor, using their in house maintenance crew to install the concrete boardwalk system. With a simple boardwalk construction process and technical support from PermaTrak to kick off the install, the city was able to save significant money by leveraging their existing staff as the installing contractor.

boardwalk_construction_clabber_creek_arkansas_permatrak.jpgWhen weighing the pros and cons of materials, the city initially considered using either traditional wood or composite material for the trail. However, in taking into account the high cost of maintenance associated with these materials, the city opted for PermaTrak’s durable and maintenance-free concrete system. The city’s team also praised PermaTrak for its manageable and simple-to-install boardwalk system.

When the idea of inputting a boardwalk was first proposed, it was denied due to potential wetland area disturbance and excess shade cover to the area’s plants. However, when it was suggested that the trail could be raised higher above the wetland area, the project was later approved.

A portion of the PermaTrak trail sits about 30 in. off of the wetland grounds allowing the water to run underneath the boardwalk without disturbing either the structure or wetland.

Another attractive and unique amenity along the Clabber Creek trail extension is an outdoor education classroom, including educational kiosks about the area’s wetland and ecosystem. Matt_Mihalevich_-_City_of_Fayetteville_head_shot.jpgMatt Mihalevich, Trails Coordinator for the Engineering Division of the City of Fayetteville described this feature as an educational perk for nearby Holcomb Elementary and Holt Middle School. “They can bring their students down and look at the wetlands to kind of understand more about what's going on with the flora and fauna of the wetland,” Mihalevich adds. Holt Middle School students are lending a hand in designing the graphics for the trail’s educational area.

Connecting Fayetteville, one trail at a time

With Clabber Creek Trail slated to span seven miles in total upon completion of all phases, this latest extension serves as a vital artery connecting to the rest of the multiple Fayetteville trail networks. This addition also provides a new route between Holcomb Elementary and Holt Middle School for students to safely travel to and fromClabber Creek install 2.jpg school as part of the national Safe Routes to Schools program

Known for their outstanding parks and trail systems, Fayetteville’s Parks and Recreation team won four awards in 2015 from the Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA). “The quality of life made possible by our Parks and Recreation Department is a testament to the community support for our parks and the dedicated staff, volunteers, and collaborators who keep the parks well maintained with activities for the public year-around,” said Mayor Lioneld Jordan.

The planned expansion and improvement of the city’s parks, trails, and neighborhoods will certainly continue to provide greater connectivity and enjoyment for all who reside in or visit Fayetteville. 

See more photos of the construction progress below -


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Topics: Multi Use Trails and Greenways, Boardwalk Construction