Nisqually River Estuary Boardwalk

Federal stimulus money was used to finance construction of the Nisqually River estuary boardwalk at the Nisqually River National Wildlife Refuge. The mile-long boardwalk is nearly half done and when complete it will be used to provide access out into the world of mudflats and tidal sloughs teeming with marine life and birds.

The project has reclaimed about 762 acres of the refuge, turning the delta back into the estuary and saltwater marsh it was before it was diked 100 years ago to create farmland. The goal is to restore habitat for salmon, shorebirds, and other creatures that thrive in estuaries.

The boardwalk superstructure is constructed from pressure treated Douglas fir. The preservative is ammoniacal copper zinc, or ACZA, which is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The decking is Port Orford Cedar Glulam. The boardwalk will have a life expectancy of 50 to 75 years. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service considered re-cycled materials for construction of this boardwalk but wood was chosen for its durability and strength.

Western Wood Structures designed this timber boardwalk and is in the midst of fabricating and shipping materials as of this writing. The General Contractor is Five Rivers Construction of Longview, Washington.