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PermaTrak Project Profiles: Concrete Boardwalks and Pedestrian Bridges

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Project Profile

Smith and Sanford Creek Greenway Pedestrian Bridges

Challenge

The Town of Wake Forest, NC, has been gradually expanding its greenway system over the last 20 years. In the latest project for Smith and Sanford Creek Greenway, 2.4 miles of greenway trail connect the downtown district to two other major greenways, eventually connecting to a third trail.

Wake Forest has grown significantly over the last several years, and an increase in developed land has led to a number of flood events. Due to these floods, existing timber boardwalks were not meeting their expected lifespan, and were becoming costly to maintain. Pedestrian bridge crossings on the Smith and Sanford Creek Greenway were located in protected wetland areas that were especially flood-prone, leading the Town to look for boardwalk options that were low maintenance, easy to install, and environmentally friendly.

Solution

Kimley-Horn, along with the Town of Wake Forest, selected PermaTrak for three pedestrian bridges at the Smith and Sanford Creek Greenway. The designers and owners felt comfortable knowing PermaTrak’s concrete material does not rot or decay during flood events. With a projected lifetime of 50-75 years, PermaTrak provided a low maintenance option for the city. Fast, top-down installation caused minimal disturbance to the wetland areas, make it an eco-friendly option.

Holly Miller, Assistant Town Engineer with the Town of Wake Forest, explains, “From a constructability standpoint, PermaTrak was a great system for us. It was easy to install and helped us minimize downtime and the effect on sensitive areas and the overall ecosystem.”

These pedestrian bridges represent the first PermaTrak structures for the Town of Wake Forest. The greenways opened to the public in September 2017.

Location: Wake Forest, NC
Owner: Town of Wake Forest
Designer: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Contractor: Fred Smith Company
Installer: Backwoods Bridges, LLC

Technical Description

Boardwalk Length(s): 28 ft., 50 ft. and 70 ft.
Tread Width(s): 11 ft. 3 in.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: September 2016