November 9, 2023

Quay repair works begin in Salcombe

Victoria Quay is situated in the middle of the bustling Devon town of Salcombe. It’s well known by visitors as a prime crabbing spot, and is packed with families during the summer months trying their hand with a crabbing line.

We were approached by a concerned resident who owns part of the wall last year. This old quay wall was showing signs of bulging, worrying cracks and a possible void. Along with a local structural engineering firm, PCA, a plan was put in to action.

This summer, due to the condition of the wall worsening, the structural engineers did a site visit and filed a report which meant the public footpath was closed as the quay wall was unsafe. The corner of the wall was propped up temporarily by metal piles and large bags of aggregate to hold them in place.

A few months later, after getting all the necessary permissions required for Listed Buildings Consent and a Marine licence, we got started. Due to the accessibility and size of the quay wall, it wasn’t possible to site the excavator on the quay wall and work from above. We hired a floating barge on which the excavator would be sited for the duration of the works. This was loaded up at the Fish Quay and brought in to position by the Salcombe Harbour Master. We are now able to access the wall, and the excavator doesn’t get too wet! We started by demolishing the bulging part of the wall, where we found a large void. After removing the top 1m of material, using the excavator we drove in steel piles to retain the material behind. We then installed correct drainage, and laid concrete bags to provide strength in the wall. This was then faced with locally sourced stone. Tides are a big challenge on this project and we had some super high tides in the storms a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully the works held fast and the partly demolished wall didn’t sustain further damage. We are now working on the corner section, which will be the trickiest part. Feel free to pop down if you’re in the area and see what we’re up to. Stay tuned for the next instalment here and on our Instagram and Facebook accounts . . .