Salmonpool Bridge Refurbishment

Connecting communities surrounding Exeter, Salmonpool Bridge had its first major refurbishment for 55 years, rectifying defects caused by passing traffic over time.

Part of the of the Exe Estuary Trail connecting Riverside Valley Park, the swing bridge over the Exeter Ship Canal is a leisurely waterway between businesses and homes.

What we did

Pell Frischmann provided multi-disciplinary engineering services to the Salmonpool Bridge Refurbishment scheme, combining our Bridge Engineering experts with our Asset Management, Civil and Structural Teams.

Before the bridge was lifted from its position on Friday 5 March 2021, our teams undertook key assessments and surveys for Exeter City Council and identifying the structural defects, allowing the teams to act swiftly and mitigate the environmental and economic impact to the local region.

Once the structure was lifted into the adjacent car park work area, it was grit blasted to remove the paint and corrosion. Our team inspected the steel-work to confirm the extent of previously identified defects and examined previously hidden, inaccessible areas and associated defects. We then rapidly designed repairs to all structural elements including main girders, parapet edge beams and cross bracing. Due to the tight programme required for the repairs to be completed and the structure brought back into service, the use of readily available materials and resources was adopted. As well as ensuring the quality of the works during site visits, Pell Frischmann undertook paint testing to confirm the waste classification and detailed the vehicle restraint system for the approaches.


Pell Frischmann’s nation-wide teams collaborated closely alongside Exeter City Council, project partners and local businesses and residents, providing close engagement on the progress and target updates.


Proving our ‘Excellence Through Innovation’ tagline, Salmonpool Bridge’s design is believed to be the first use in the UK to have been implemented with Fiberline Decking; an innovative sustainable decking system dramatically minimising weight, Fiberline Decking mitigates future maintenance and improves safety for the local users of Salmonpool Bridge.

Prior to the refurbishment, ensuring disruption to local businesses and economy was paramount. A short-term transport strategy was incorporated into the scheme, such as the installation of a temporary foot/cycle bridge providing access to connectivity both sides of the canal

Furthermore, our teams were conscious of mitigating environmental impact to the local community and wildlife. The design solution was chosen to align with the principals of the waste hierarchy, maximising the reuse of the existing structure, minimising the generation of waste and keeping the use of new materials to a minimum.

Pell Frischmann’s Bridges Associate Paul Oliver said:

Our team is delighted to have completed the refurbishment of Salmonpool Bridge, restoring it to its proper place over the Exeter Ship Canal. The bridge is integral to the local area, providing vital connectivity between communities for businesses and leisure. We are pleased to have worked with our partners to deliver this both safely and quickly to mitigate impact to local residents.


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