The State of Connecticut Department of Construction Services and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) approved funding for design and construction of an extension of an existing boardwalk at Silver Sands State Park as well as the construction of a new boardwalk at Walnut Beach in Milford. The boardwalk needed to cross two creeks, comply with wetlands regulations and the endangered species act due to a piping plover habitat, comply with ADA regulations for beach access, and be designed to support the weight of vehicular traffic for Parks Department personnel and withstand coastal flooding.
GZA completed subsurface explorations, geotechnical engineering and the structural design. Synthetic decking is designed along the entire boardwalk length of 3800 feet. As part of GZA’s engineering effort, coastal processes analysis was completed by a coastal geologist, and the alignment was adjusted where possible to reflect a receding shoreline and provide recreational value for park visitors.
The timber-framed, pile-supported boardwalk with 15-foot spans of recycled decking materials features two 25-foot wide creek crossings, viewing deck areas, and ADA-accessible beach access ramps. The boardwalk is the longest in the state and designed to support 3000 lbs. gross vehicle weight for maintenance and emergency access only) operated by the Parks department. Railings and/or curbs were designed along the boardwalk depending on the height of the boardwalk above the beach. Three at-grade, cast-in-place concrete ramps allow beach access for heavier emergency vehicles such as an ambulances or fire apparatus.