Browse Common Topics
Section 508 Navigation
Search our Website

Resources and Library:

Cool Trail Solutions

Hosted by AmericanTrails.org

 

Precast concrete boardwalk system for elevated trails

See photo gallery below

 

arrow See the PermaTrak page in the American Trails Business Directory

arrow Download PermaTrak Installation Guidelines (pdf 2.3 mb)

PermaTrak™ is a precast, concrete boardwalk and elevated greenway system that many landscape architects, planners, and parks/recreation departments are finding to be a cost-competitive alternative to traditional timber construction. This boardwalk system was first developed in Australia in the mid 1990's. PermaTrak North America is now designing, producing and supplying this precast concrete boardwalk product in the U.S.

According to the manufacturer, "the product is designed for durability over a 50-75 year lifespan that only precast concrete can offer, design flexibility to work with your natural environment, and the option of different colors and textures to provide an unparalleled aesthetic framework. The system is designed to be easy to install, and requires virtually no maintenance, providing high savings in maintenance costs compared to other materials over the products' life cycle."

photo of kid with rock on trail

Boardwalk Estate, Melbourne, Australia

Boardwalk Estate from Melbourne, Australia, is the site for a 1,000 ft. boardwalk that is 6'8'' wide, installed in 2000. The PermaTrak system was chosen because of its flexibility to meander over the wetlands. The tan color was selected to blend the treads into their surroundings. This low-profile walkway provides the local community with opportunities to view birds and wildlife, as well as run or bike around the attractive landscape.

Another example is the 800 ft. long, 6'8'' wide Kaiki Trail on Granite Island, Australia. The owner, National Parks and Wildlife, wanted to alleviate major soil erosion and compaction problems caused by high visitor traffic at this popular national park and penguin conservation site. They also wanted a system that required virtually zero maintenance due to the severe coastal conditions. The PermaTrak system’s precast pier components allowed for all the foundation elements to be easily transported over the rocky, hilly terrain with minimal disturbance to the wildlife habitat. This was installed in 1996 and has not required any maintenance or cleaning up through the date when this picture was taken in 2009.

The Town of Vincent, Perth, Western Australia, is the location for an 82 foot long, 6'8'' wide boardwalk in Robertson Park. The town’s challenge was to design a system that allowed for a walkway to pass between two majestic Moreton Bay fig trees that were only 16 ft. apart while not damaging the interlocking root system.

photo of kid with rock on trail

Boardwalk over tree roots

The PermaTrak system was chosen because its precast foundation system (piers/risers/caps) did not require it to be driven into the sub grade. Unlike traditional timber construction methods that require driven piles for foundation support, PermaTrak’s precast piers were installed at grade and easily handled by laborers. The small footprint of the piers was positioned away from the trees’ root system. The substructure (beams and treads) complemented the piers with horizontal and vertical flexibility, allowing the walkway to meander over the root system and between the tree trunks. This boardwalk was installed in 2004.

A boardwalk running through Saratoga mangroves in Gosford, New South Wales, Australia, is 272 ft long and 9'10'' wide, installed in 2007. Coastal environments can impart the harshest conditions on structures. Designers must ensure these structures will endure these conditions and that they will perform year-in and year-out. The boardwalk must be capable of withstanding environmental elements such as erosion, wind, and humid conditions. The City of Gosford’s challenge was solved with this system that was analyzed to be the most cost-effective, long-term performance solution in a coastal environment.

 

Click on any photo to see it full size along with more information:

Print Friendly
Print Friendly and PDF

 

 

More Resources

 

Bibliography
Quotations
Glossary
Acronyms
Tools
Cool trail solutions
Trailbuilding
Wildlife and trails
Planning
Maintenance
Volunteers
Products & services

 

Facebook Twitter

Stay up to date on legislative issues for trails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

business directory

 

trail database

PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

 

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.