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Project Profile

Cross Charlotte Trail - Brandywine to Tyvola

Filed under: North Carolina, Boardwalks


The Cross Charlotte Trail is a 30+ mile trail and greenway facility that stretches from one end of Charlotte to the other, providing bikers and pedestrians a seamless pathway through the city.  This project was the last segment of the trail to be completed, a vital connector located underneath Woodlawn Rd.

The section posed unique difficulties as it traverses a particularly narrow channel that frequently experiences swift water rises during rainfall, sometimes submerging completely underwater.  An elevated boardwalk solution was required to allow the trail to be utilized in minor to moderate rainfall, while also minimizing maintenance issues caused by silt (a common after effect of flooding).  The path also needed to run through a tunnel directly over the oft-flooding creek, and the structure needed to be removable in the future.


PermaTrak’s no-maintenance concrete boardwalk material was the best solution for the Cross Charlotte design team as wood would deteriorate quickly in the rapid flooding conditions.

PermaTrak’s engineering team also helped develop a solution for supporting the treads as the boardwalk continued through the tunnel. Each tread is supported by two galvanized steel brackets secured to the walls of the box culvert allowing for elimination of the pile and beam support in this section.  The design and reuseable nature of the precast system solved the issue of the structure being "removable" in the future if needed. 

The elimination of pile and beam support keeps the waterway area open, minimizing blockage during a flood. A protected debris fence was also attached to the boardwalk piles, designed to capture and hold any floating debris.

The Cross Charlotte Trail now stands completed, connecting the city end-to-end, and providing a robust and sustainable pathway that will serve residents for years to come.

Location: Charlotte, NC
Designer: Kimley Horn

Technical Description

Boardwalk Length(s): 278ft.
Tread Width(s): 13ft. 3in.
Color: Adelaide Gray
Texture: PermaGrip
Installation Date: Spring 2023