In 2016, the City of Tampa unveiled a $35 million plan to completely redesign Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, a 23-acre green space along Florida’s Hillsborough River. The new park design features an event space, boathouse, athletic facilities, and a network of paths and trails for walkers and joggers. A significant portion of the existing trail had been damaged by live oak roots that lined the pathway, creating an uneven and unsafe walking surface. The City wanted to find a long-term solution that would provide a safe alternative for park-goers while minimizing disturbance to the live oak trees.
Partnering with the city’s designers, engineers, and developers, PermaTrak designed a 538-foot elevated concrete walkway that minimized tree root disturbance while providing a maintenance-free solution for the City. The walkway features bump-outs for benches, and was placed atop low-impact footers that not only avoided penetrating the tree root system, but served as a lower cost foundation option for the City. “We were able to come in and install [the PermaTrak system] to be able to save all the tree roots without disturbing them or having to cut them,” explains installer Jarrett Westfall of Westfall Construction.
This was the most extensive park renovation to date in Tampa, and is expected to be a centerpiece of the city’s growing downtown district. “I think this will become Tampa’s Central Park,” said Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn, in an interview with Fox 13 News, referring to New York’s largest green space. “What we have attempted to do is here is to make the river the center of everything we do...where people from every segment of this community can come with their families and enjoy the open space and enjoy the riverfront.”