Salmon Bone Bridge Rehabilitation Project

SPU staff examine the deck and railing of the Salmon Bone Bridge, a footbridge with overhead steel structures made to resemble fishbones surrounded by woods.

Project description

The Salmon Bone Bridge was designed by renowned Seattle-based artist Lorna Jordan and was installed in 1999 as part of the Longfellow Creek Habitat Improvement Project. The bridge was designed to invoke the skeletal structure of a fish and the deck was made from recycled cedar timbers arranged in a herringbone pattern. The Bridge is also known as the Adams Fish Bridge.

Closeup of the wooden planks on the bridge deck showing holes and wood rot.
The original bridge deck is deteriorated.

Since then, the timber deck has deteriorated and has become unsafe. As a result, in 2020, SPU covered the deck with plywood and an anti-slip surface, which altered the bridge’s aesthetic. This project aims to honor the artist’s original vision while improving pedestrian safety by replacing the deck with materials designed for slip resistance and long service life.

Closeup of steel planking with raised traction dots, in an orange rust color.
Cordeck Dots deck will mimic the appearance of the original material.

After exploring several materials for deck replacement, SPU selected Cordeck Dots decking material. This weathering steel product is a long-lasting option that will mimic the visual appearance of the original deck.

SPU plans to replace the deck in the summer of 2024. Restoration will:

  • Replace the deck in the original herringbone pattern
  • Upgrade the bridge’s safety cables
  • Install bridge edges for sight-impaired visitors
  • Strip and repaint the bridge’s metal tubular “bones”

The restored bridge will preserve the artist’s original design, but will be more durable and accessible, and safer, while requiring less maintenance.


The Salmon Bone Bridge is near the Dragonfly Garden and Pavilion (also designed by Lorna Jordan) on Longfellow Creek in West Seattle, in the greenspace between SW Nevada St/SW Yancy St and 28th Ave SW/26th Ave SW. 

What's happening now?

SPU is preparing designs and will hire a contractor to do the work. We will need to obtain permits from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. These improvements must be scheduled around fish migration windows, and construction is expected to begin in summer 2024 and last approximately 2 months.

Community benefits

  • Improved pedestrian safety
  • Improved pedestrian access to the bridge, especially for the sight-impaired
  • Fewer closures for future maintenance

Anticipated Impacts

The Salmon Bone Bridge will be closed for approximately two months during staging and construction, currently scheduled for summer 2024. Other impacts may include:

  • Construction noise, dirt, dust, and vibration
  • Increased construction traffic to mobilize equipment and materials
  • Equipment, signage, and materials staged in or near the work area
  • Restricted access to the walking path in the work area

High Line Park.
This picture shows an example of Cordeck Dots deck material installed on a bridge in New York City’s The High Line Park. This material will be used on the Salmon Bone Bridge and will be installed in the original herringbone pattern.

Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.