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Project Profile

Crabtree Lake Greenway


The Crabtree Creek Greenway is a 14.2-mile trail that traverses through wooded areas, parks, and neighborhoods in suburban Raleigh. In Cary, NC, a portion of the trail runs along the south side of Lake Crabtree, a flood control lake surrounded by steep slopes and marsh areas. The Town of Cary wanted to extend the regional greenway around the lake, but because building around the perimeter required a significant investment, the Town decided to look at options to cross the lake.

The lake crossing was required to be compliant with NCDOT standards, and Town officials were interested in concrete because of its low maintenance and durability, as well as its ability to provide a smooth ride for bikes and strollers. They were also looking for an option with clean lines that didn’t detract from the beauty of the area.


With over a dozen PermaTrak boardwalks previously installed in Cary and selection as part of the Town’s standards, PermaTrak’s concrete boardwalk system was ultimately chosen to cross Lake Crabtree. Using top-down construction, the crossing was installed with minimal disturbance to the area. A bump-out was added to the design to give users the ability to look out over the lake and enjoy the scenic views. 

The Town of Cary is pleased with the new boardwalk and considers it to be an attractive, memorable landmark for pedestrians and bikers to enjoy for years to come. The Crabtree Creek Greenway received a 2019 ACEC Engineering Excellence Award and a Silver award at the 2019 Greater Triangle Stewardship Development Awards.

Location: Cary, NC
Designer: Withers Ravenel
Contractor: Fred Smith Company

Technical Description

Boardwalk Length(s): 728 ft.
Tread Width(s): 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Timber
Installation Date: May 2018