Beaver Boardwalk, with its 3.0km length, is the world’s longest freshwater boardwalk. It showcases the local wetland system around Maxwell Lake, Hinton. The boardwalk meanders through marshland and fens, bringing visitors close to the active beaver dam and lodge as well as wetland amphibians, waterfowl, fish, insects and vegetation. The boardwalk features multiple observation towers, bridges, landings, seating areas, interpretive signage, and an outdoor classroom.
The entire boardwalk is exposed to seasonal flooding during spring and heavy rain periods. Originally constructed by volunteers in 2006, the boardwalk now experiences vertical movements, slumping, structural failure and overall safety hazards for visitors.
ISL was tasked with providing architectural conceptual design and a feasibility study for the replacement of the existing boardwalk. The study included an assessment of the existing structure, design criteria for the new one, a geotechnical investigation, design concepts, cost estimates, construction methodology, and environmental permitting requirements.
In a related project, ISL designed and provided construction services for the replacement of a 16m long timber bridge that forms part of the Beaver Boardwalk. The new $400, 000 bridge is elevated above the flood zone, is universally accessible and is able to support boardwalk maintenance vehicles. Additionally, ISL provided a structural reinforcing system design for the existing lookout towers that will extend the life of these structures until the full boardwalk replacement project can be implemented.