Presto Geosystems Menu
Google Translate

Project Name: Colchester Causeway

Project Location: Vermont

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy magnificent views again along the Vermont shorelines thanks to the GEOWEB® 3D Soil Confinement System.

The Colchester Causeway Recreational Trail is a staple for locals and tourists who want to visit the breathtaking shorelines of Vermont. This island line rail trail is the world’s longest bike path across water, with views of the Adirondack Mountains of New York on the left, and Mount Mansfield and the Green Mountains on the right.

The recreational trail spans 13.4 miles long—8 miles of it being paved and the remaining 5.4 miles consisting of crushed limestone. The limestone section traverses Lake Champlain, stretching from Colchester to the Grand Isle in the middle of the lake. The old rail line is unique, as there is an actual gap in the trail over the water that allows boats to pass through. To bridge this gap for bikers, runners, and walkers, a ferry service is available, facilitating access to the trail’s continuation on the Grand Isle where further exploration awaits.

Over the years, the causeway path across Lake Champlain had been battered by winter storms causing sinkholes and portions of the path to wash away from the waves crashing up and over the causeway. In the summer of 2019, there was a dire need for the path to be restored and a very tight window to complete the repairs.

Storm Damage Prior to the GEOWEB Installation

Colchester Causeway Recovery and Mitigation Project Plan

The Town of Colchester was the project owner with funding provided by FEMA. For the causeway recovery and mitigation project, the project owners required the installation of armor stone on both the lake side and bay side of the causeway, as well as a 4-inch deep geocell on the path surface to be infilled with crusher dust path surface material. Approximately 10,050 linear feet of path needed to be repaired from the causeway opening in the north to just south of the old rail bridge.

Recreational Trail Installation

In late summer 2019, Presto Geosystems’ GEOWEB® Geocell material supplier, E.J. Prescott Inc, started discussing the trail repairs with the project owners, engineers, contractor, and FEMA.

A complimentary project evaluation was completed by Presto Geosystems engineering team that provided project- and product-specific guidelines the contractor could follow. A manufacturer’s field representative from E.J. Prescott was on-site at the beginning of the project installation to assist and train the contractor on how to install the GEOWEB Geocells with the accessories. Having an experienced representative on-site helped minimize the installation time and alleviated any concerns.

Since the owners required a solution to help stabilize and hold the infill material in place, the GEOWEB mid-sized cell, 4-inch depth (GW30V4) was selected for this project with a 6 oz non-woven geotextile separation layer on top of the subgrade. The cells were infilled with a ¾” stone and topped with 2” wearing course and the GEOWEB sections were connected using the patented ATRA® Keys. To complete the project, the contractor installed quarried stone on each side of the path to meet the project requirements.

The project was scheduled to begin on November 1st, 2019, and be completed by May 1st, 2020.

Winter Conditions Halt Installation

The project installation began in early November, but just two days into the project, a significant drop in temperatures caused the entire causeway to become covered in ice. Due to the icy conditions, the project was put on hold until the spring thaw. Since the installation of the GEOWEB Geocells goes quickly, the contractor, JP Sicard, had no issues meeting the May 1st deadline. Thanks to JP Sicard’s exceptional installation work, the trail is now widely used and appreciated.

The Colchester Causeway Recreational Trail reopened to the public in June of 2020.

“I have been on the bike path many times since the project was completed and it looks great! It is a good feeling to see all the people enjoying it, whether riding a bike or just walking it. The Causeway bike path is unique and has some beautiful views.”, Mike Everhart, EJ Prescott.


Now you can plan your project using the new Presto Geo P3 project planning portal. Check it out here >>


Finished GEOWEB Recreational Trail