This bridge story is a tribute to the determination of Links Bridges’ Installation team and as well to the precision of our Manufacturing team. Without both of these, this story would read differently.
Links Bridges was contracted by a public housing organization to provide a replacement for a bridge that connected a parking lot to the 2nd floor entrance of a multi-unit housing building.
The key to success, aside from providing a great, long-lasting, low-maintenance bridge, was to minimize the down-time between bridge removal and bridge replacement. The bridge was a key entrance and egress for the residents who would suffer major inconvenience if they lost use of the bridge for more than a day.
It was determined, based on historical engineering data, that the existing foundations could be re-used. Links Bridges was supplying a fiberglass bridge which was considerably lighter than the existing steel bridge/concrete deck previously installed. It was also important to fit the bridge perfectly into an existing building alcove so that building structures were not impacted and the interior floor/deck interface were on the exact same level.
Existing Steel Bridge – 40’ long
The bridge was made and completely assembled so that it could be installed in 1 piece to minimize down time between bridges. The installation date was set and equipment and personnel scheduled to come in to remove and demolish the existing bridge. The plan was for ‘same-day’ removal and installation.
As it turned out, events affected plans. The scheduled day turned out to the coldest day of the winter and a heavy snowfall made things even more difficult. Our hardy crew would not be deterred and work proceeded.
The real problem happened when the old bridge was lifted out, we discovered damage to one of the concrete footings. The damage was such that the bearing points for the new bridge were compromised.
We quickly got the Engineering Team involved and they designed a solution that involved anchoring steel angles into the (uncompromised) sides of the foundations to provide a new bearing surface for the bridge beams. Our daylight hours were quickly disappearing and lifting a 40’ bridge into a tight space in dark, snowing, sub-zero conditions is never a good plan. Besides, we still needed to locate a steel fabricator who would be willing to stop what they were doing and cut some angle steel to the sizes that were required.
With a bit of luck, charm and determination, we managed to get the steel that same night. Throughout the next morning and afternoon our hardy crew suffered through extreme conditions to get these installed to provide a bearing platform for our bridge beams. With daylight quickly fading, our crane started to lift the bridge into place.
Thanks to the precision work of our manufacturing team, the bridge was a perfect fit for the tight space. Within an hour the bridge was anchored and ready for use. This important access for the building residents was restored.
This picture was taken the morning after installation. Snow and sub-zero temperatures made things a little more difficult.