Perpignan : Detailed inspection of the Archipelago cable-stayed footbridge

The Archipelago footbridge, which connects the north and south of Perpignan, was inaugurated in 2015 and now offers a pleasant stroll for pedestrians, cyclists and pushchairs around the heart of Perpignan.

As part of the management of its engineering structures, the city of Perpignan commissioned Sixense to carry out a detailed periodic inspection of the Archipelago footbridge crossing the Têt river.

This footbridge – a non-current structure – is composed of a steel frame with a cable stayed structure in half-harp shape, with a mast measuring over 24m high.

Located in a constrained environment where access to the bridge must remain open, Sixense implemented different means of access depending on the nature of the roads crossed and the elements inspected, including:

  • Main road crossing: aerial work platform
  • River crossing: drone from the banks
  • Riverbank crossing: self-propelled boom lift
  • Pylons & shrouds:
    • For most of the elements (RG shrouds, pylon, part of the central shrouds): 43m self-propelled aerial platform
    • For the rest of the elements: drone from the banks
  • Extrados: on foot


Vincent CHAPOULIE, Design Engineer and Head of this mission explains:

“I was able to see that the Archipelago footbridge is more than just a pedestrian bridge, it has become an essential and very popular passage for the people of Perpignan.

For this exceptional structure, we therefore used an inspection drone, which is a modern method, particularly well suited to the structure and its environment. A high-rise aerial lift was also used to inspect the mast, so no one prone to vertigo!
In the end, it was a specific inspection on an atypical structure requiring preparation, expertise in cable-stayed structures, experience and a mild sky to fly in good conditions. “