The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is a walking, biking, and road cycling trail in northwest Hillsborough County, FL. Phase IV of the trail enhancement project required several segments through wetland areas. Florida’s harsh UV exposure, heat, and humidity traditionally wear down timber boardwalks after a few years. Cardno TBE was looking for a maintenance-free product that wouldn’t disturb the sensitive wetland area.
“We wanted something more durable with longevity,” Richard Sanders of Hillsborough County said. “In Florida, we have these wetland areas all over the place and we have a lot of crossings that go through these areas. It’s important when you’re installing something out in the wetlands that you do it without damaging the area,” he added.
Cardno TBE specified PermaTrak as the basis of design to solve the county’s maintenance concerns. Pepper Contracting’s team utilized an intermediate loading area and installed the PermaTrak system via top down construction. “We liked that feature too, how you could install the boardwalk on top of the existing sections,” Sanders said.
The regional trail was partially funded by Florida DOT, and includes three sections of PermaTrak totaling 2,480 linear feet. The local standard Florida DOT Index 850 railing system (galvanized steel) completed the boardwalks, allowing 12 feet of usable space.
“We appreciated PermaTrak providing all the upfront information we were looking for - the specifications, drawings, all the help provided along the way to get a long-term product out there: something that would have some longevity,” Sanders said.