• Three kayakers enjoying the river.

    Chattahoochee River

    National Recreation Area Georgia

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Rising River Waters Can Kill!

    Watch for rapidly rising river levels on the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries. Water released from dams and heavy rain can turn a day on the river into a tragedy! More »

  • Call for Water Release Schedule

    With colder temperatures you can expect longer and more frequent water releases. For water release schedule info, call 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569) for Buford Dam and 404-329-1455 for Morgan Falls Dam. Save numbers to your cell! More »

Build as you go!

Track-hoe in use at Cochran Shoals boardwalk rehab work.
Track-hoe in use at Cochran Shoals boardwalk rehab work.
NPS Photo/Charlie Jackson

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: May 18, 2011
Contact: Charlie Jackson, 678-538-1204

"Build as you go" is the theme resonating through the wetlands at Cochran Shoals as a replacement interpretive boardwalk winds its way through the swamp adjacent to the Chattahoochee River. Hydra Engineering of Crawfordville, Florida is constructing a new 800-foot walkway as a part of a larger project recently awarded at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The popular walkway, which has been enjoyed by park visitors for more than 20 years, was closed recently due to failure of critical structural elements. Using design/build concepts, park officials consulted with the contractor and other construction experts to consider sustainable alternatives for reconstructing the facility. The team determined that helical piers, as compared to traditional construction, provide a more cost effective approach while minimizing environmental impacts.

The helical piers are placed at typical intervals, using an augur powered by a hydraulic attachment on a track-hoe. To ensure each pier achieves a firm "set" meeting the manufacturer's recommendations, hydraulic pressures are monitored during installation to insure a 500-pound force is obtained. Once set, each pier is capped with a bolted on structural bracket, and double treated wooden members are installed using customary deck-building carpentry practices.

Of special note, building is an ongoing activity at Cochran Shoals. The resident engineer, best known for dam-building propensity, indicated the construction is only slightly distracting and does not significantly impact his routine, primarily because his two-legged counterparts work only during daylight hours. An unusual approach to engineering, he surmised, but quite compatible with his nocturnal habits!

Did You Know?

A Rainbow Trout before release - Photo by Russell Virgilio

All Trout have a protective membrane or "slime coat" that covers their scales and is their first line of defense against infection and disease. Damage to this coating can severely hurt the fish. Wetting your hands or limiting contact with the fish increases the likelihood that the fish will survive.