Walkway over wetland

I have a home on 3/4 acre. The house is at north end of the property. The rest is mostly grass. Except I have a small stream running north to south just west of my house on my property. This is full of trees/shrubs/etc. since the didnt cut that down to build my house/lawn.
This stream is basically like a marsh in that you dont see much running water, just wetness. I like the trees and the water.
What I want to do is build a walkway that goes through the treed area, over the marshland. I want it to go from the side of my house all the way to the end of my property where I will put a screened in gazebo. This is probably a 75 foot walk.
What type of company would build something like this? Can I call a deck building company?
Thanks,
CL Gilbert
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"CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert" wrote:

Is this a classified wetlands? If so, you may have a problem doing anything. If not, a cheaper alternative might be to bring in some fill and simply raise a pathway through...depends on how deep and mucky it actually is, but could be significantly cheaper than builing a fully supported walkway.
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On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 10:18:07 -0500, Duane Bozarth

Really. If it is, or can be, classified as wetland; start thinking in terms of applying for (but not getting) permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA and probably state agencies as well.
The last time I read anything about "wet land" designations, the Supreme's were being pretty liberal and confiscatory about it. If you spit on the ground and it takes more than 30-seconds to dry. Then it's a wet land.

Seriously though, Duane has a good suggestion there.
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Vic Dura wrote:

And, my thought would be to only build a decking or bridge over a low spot as someone else mentioned. And if you were to use a coarse sand or some gravel it would percolate water and it wouldn't be difficult to add some small drainage culverts if needed...I could envision something looking pretty nice, actually.
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On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 14:15:21 -0500, Vic Dura

If you think the tree huggers will get you for building over a wetland, just try FILLING in one!
You are a lot more likely to get away with a bridge than a dam.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

What I'm suggesting is neither a dam nor filling in the wetland--and I have seen it done in a couple places while in TN that were actually on the list, whereas I really doubt this area is (or it wouldn't have houses on it already).
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On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 16:24:37 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote Re Re: Walkway over wetland:

Yes, I agree. My (and I believe Duane's) comment was made with the assumption that it is not a wetland.
I've read some real horror stories about land owners running afoul of the wetlands police. Not a pretty picture, but then life in a fascist state never is.
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I wanted the walkway for the looks of it. Also want to be sure the water flow is not impeedes as I ot enough water pumping out of my basement as it is :P
Im not sure if its classified as wetlands. Its really not that big so I doubt it. its just a small path that the water takes mainly after rains, but also continuously. If it is wetlands and they try to restrict what I can do, thats cool to so long as they want to give me a property tax break!
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My first thought seeing your post was that such a walkway could really look nice. Depending on the size of your town, you may or may not have to deal with a separate wetlands dept, or it could be another job for the zoning folks. At any rate, you should be able to find the wetlands regs for your area on the net. I really doubt that an elevated walkway over a vernal stream would be a prohibited activity, and the fact that the walkway would allow you access to more of your own property would likely void the prohibition on such a small lot. If the actual waterway part isn't that big, you'll be best off just spanning it anyhow, so for that part of your walk you'd need a rigid structure (ie, a bridge). If you get grief, tell them it's a dock, because docks are allowed. In your case, it would be two docks; one from each side.
good luck, k
As to your question - I'd guess a landscaper might do better than a deck builder for this application. Just ask around.
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If you have the timber available (especially cedar) you could build a corduroy road, just logs trimmed of branches and cut to road width e.g. 6 ft., laid on the swamp surface and jammed tightly enough together that each log keeps the neighbours in place. It would be uncomfortable to walk on, and would not avoid wet feet, but is cheapest and would permit you to push a wheelbarrow etc.
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CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert wrote:

Marine construction? Here in Florida, there are lots of walkways built over marshy or swampy areas. Without means of access to float in a barge, perhaps a general contractor. If a general can't do it, they certainly might refer you. Or call local building dept and ask them; may need permits.
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I'd try a deck builder. You may want to check if there are any regulations abut building around the marsh if it is deemed to be "wetlands". Even though it is your property there may be some limits to what you can do.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I already know cutting trees down is off limits. Unless they have the ash borer. So could be some regulations. I don't intend to disturb the flow though. Ill check with the City.
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On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 09:56:20 -0400, "CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert"

Are you sure this isn't a failed septic system?
rusty redcloud
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Red Cloud wrote:

Well, it is helped to stay wet by the water pumped out of my and my 2 neighbors basements. But no, its where the water flows. I can trace it to the street in front of my house, and follow the path further if i was patient enough. The water table is high in my area but the homes are new and no septic systems are present. Some of the older homes may have them though.
Its a stream, but the land gets flat toward the back of my house so it spreads out and the ground is kind of marshy.
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wrote:

right over it
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I R Baboon wrote:

I got no place to go! Im not trying to cross it. There is nothing on the other side except my neighbor's property. I am trying to make a nice walkway with a gazebo. I can put a gazebo on my grass, but I think it would be nicer if its in this wooded and wet area.
So the objective is to trim back some of the wild brush, make a walkway with a gazebo at the end. The walkway and the gazebo will be always over the running water. Perhaps a glass bottom gazebo :)
But no, I dont want to fill it because the only function of this walkway is to look nice and the water plays a part hopefully. Yes its really just landscaping.
But im not a rich guy, and this is small property and the walkway will be probably just 75 feet.
If I were going to fill it, I would just put a french drain or something there and let the water out at the end of my property. That might reduce my mosquitos and I would just put grass there and cut down all the shrubage but not the trees.
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Cripes. Sorry you have gotten such a hard time with responses. It is clear that you like the property the way it is, so don't listen to the bozos that tell you to bring in fill, change the stream, or whatever. Do what you think you will like best. I personally think your original suggestion was pretty good.
Based on your suggestion, I would think this is not a classified wetland (but, as you can tell from previous responses, it is not always clear). If it _is_ classified wetland, then you may be out of luck. This may be unfair (there are some extreme examples of laws and regulations getting out of control), but it may also be perfectly reasonable in the larger scheme of things (paying some money for a piece of land doesn't give someone absolute or unfettered control over all aspects of the land and its use, especially if the rest of us might be harmed, as would be the case if everyone continued filling in their wetlands). So I'd check the various regulations and ask around a little, and think hard about if you would really be doing significant damage to something that is important to the community. I'd bet you will be fine...
In which case, go for a narrow, raised walkway. Depending on climate (does it freeze hard?), you can get away with some pretty minimal disturbance. I'd be wary of a general deck contractor. Their typical solution to a water issue is going to be just dig big holes (with heavy equiptment) and fill with concrete. After they get done, your nice marshy area will be a huge mud pit, needing extensive landscaping, replanting, and restoration. It will not look the same for years, or even decades.
Here is an interesting, simple idea: http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm?fileName 1008a.xml
I have only seen this done once, in NC I think, but it looks pretty easy. The idea is to build simple frame sections of walkway (say, 12' long, and 4' wide), with 4x4 posts at each corner, and maybe 2 more posts half way along, to raise it up off the ground a foot or two or three. In your swamp, a small cone-shaped concrete block serves as a foot for each post, with long metal spikes driven in to the ground to keep it from moving around. You place the blocks, then carry the frame and put it on the blocks, then nail on the decking and railings. When you are all done, there will be nothing worse than a few footprints in the marsh. The blocks might not even be needed, you could just pin the posts at two angles. Think of the whole thing as more of a floating dock -- the sections should be coupled together loosely, to allow for a little movement over time. The gazebo could be done the same way. To get the pins in, you would need either a sledge hammer, or depending on the soil (rocky?), you might even need a small jackhammer.
So ask around, and see if any contractors in your area are willing to try something less invasive than just simple excavating and pouring concrete.
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kevin wrote:

thanks, that looks nice.
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