Wire Mesh Railing Treatment Increases Visibility at Fanning Springs State Park

Designers planning boardwalks and viewing platforms are often challenged with creating accessible spaces and balancing the need for safety. Planners for the Florida State Parks decided to meet the challenge head on in Fanning Springs State Park. Planners used a wire mesh railing treatment to increase visibility while maintaining safety for park visitors.

Fanning Springs State Park is located on Florida's west coast on the famous Suwannee River, halfway between Tallahassee and Tampa. The park offers nature trails, swimming, boating and other various outdoor activities. Fanning Spring is one of Florida's 27 first magnitude springs. The wire mesh railing is installed on an 8 ½' x 11' boardwalk that extends from a swimming area to a gazebo overlooking the river.

The 2" x 2" wire mesh consists of 10-gauge wire with a black polyvinyl chloride coating manufactured by Riverdale Mills Corporation. The mesh infill was chosen because it is economical, easy to obtain, and weatherproof. Due to the thin nature of the wire, points of interest are easily visible through the railing. For a person who uses a wheelchair, the height of a safety railing can impede their line of sight. However, utilizing the see-through mesh can satisfy both building/safety codes and accessibility guidelines.

Kenyon Tilbury, architect on the project for the Florida State Parks, shares the project drawings here on the NCA website as a resource for other professionals working on similar projects.

Plan 1

Plan 2

Special thanks to Brian Polk, Florida State Parks, for submitting this best practice for inclusion in NCA's "Making the Grade."


Kenyon Tilbury, Architect
State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Recreation and Parks
Bureau of Design and Recreation Services
3540 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee Florida 32309
Phone: (850) 488-5372
E-mail: ken.tilbury@dep.state.fl.us

John Reynolds, Product Manager
Riverdale Mills Corporation
130 Riverdale St
PO Box 200
Northbridge, MA 01534
Phone: (508) 234-7803
E-mail: johndreynolds@riverdale.com


The citation for this article is:

National Center on Accessibility. (June 12, 2001). Wire Mesh Railing Treatment Increases Visibility at Fanning Springs State Park. Making the Grade. Indiana University-Bloomington: National Center on Accessibility.