A 100-metre long PermaTrak modular boardwalk was installed in Emerald to link a new residential estate with the town.

Executed as part of a $2m upgrade to the Rifle Range Road in Emerald (Central Highlands Region, QLD), the project involved raising the road across a previously unsealed low level floodway, which cut access to the new residential and retail developments on the southern side of town following relatively small rain events. Large Rocla box culverts were installed and associated protection works carried out to provide Q10 immunity, along with the relocation of a trunk water main line.

With the adjacent road crossing upgraded to Q10, options were explored to improve pedestrian access with the requirement for Q100 immunity eventually meaning a separate structure was approved.

According to Phil Lattimore from Brandon and Associates Consulting Engineers, they considered adding a footpath to the side of the new road but the Q100 requirement meant raising the entire road. With the footbridge sitting significantly higher than the road, a separate structure was proposed as the most economical solution.

After considering options such as timber and fibre composite systems, they decided on Rocla’s PermaTrak modular boardwalk system.

Kevin Napier, Sales Engineer - Central Queensland for Rocla explains that the PermaTrak modular boardwalk system is very durable and ideal for this location as it won’t rot, twist, splinter or warp. The boardwalk is also termite-proof, and will not burn, melt or emit toxic fumes. Being a nil-maintenance cost precast structure with a design life of more than 50 years, PermaTrak is a long life investment for the Central Highlands Regional Council.

The completion of this ‘missing link’ has provided an integral road and walkway that offers improved flood immunity and connectivity to current and future residential developments on the southern side of town, as well as an alternative route to the Emerald airport and the commercial development on the corner of Pilot Farm Road and Gregory Highway. 

The project was designed by Brandon and Associates Consulting Engineers and constructed by Central Highlands Regional Council. Rocla’s Product Application Design group supplied CAD drawings for the boardwalk and footings to enable the Council’s installation team to easily set out the footings and complete construction.

A total of 53 pipe stanchions (Rocla 300mm flush pipe) were used to support the boardwalk structure at the desired height while 48 x 2m tapered treads, used with 437 x 2m straight treads, enabled a gentle curve in the boardwalk to align the ends of the structure with the crossing banks and adjacent road.

The reinforced concrete treads of the Rocla PermaTrak precast boardwalk system lock together via tongue and groove connections on both sides, preventing treads from being removed after installation.