Allen Brook Nature Trail, Williston, VT

The Allen Brook Nature Trail in Williston, VT includes a 150ft boardwalk that allows for visitors to experience the natural area without disturbing the wetlands. Since the last renovation of this heavily-trafficked trail in 2008, the wood has started to sag and deform. Though this is a symptom of normal use, the town hopes this next iteration will last longer without compromising its appearance.

No, there is nothing wrong with your monitor! The bridges that cross over streams at the park are settling due to normal use. This causes the wood to warp, bend and crack.

Engineering Venture’s team of structural engineers is taking on that challenge! They are working on re-designing the boardwalk for a long-lasting alternative.

EV’s engineers are making the new design as sustainable as possible. To do this, they are re-using the majority of posts holding up the current bridge. They plan to use helical piles to keep the bridge portion from settling into the river bank. The team is also considering using local black locust wood to replace the current structure. Black locust is a sustainable wood source – as a hardwood, it won’t sag as quickly. It’s an invasive species in New England and projects like this help to control its population. The team is considering constructing the bridge locally in Rutland, VT, which will cut back on the cost of transport.

When completed this boardwalk will serve the community at large with a convenient means across the “roaring” Allen Brook!

A video explaining helical piles.