This bridge story is about what we consider to be one of the most important innovations that will impact on what we can offer for golf courses, municipalities and other organizations with bridges over the next few years. It is about how we have developed a method to manufacture a simple fiberglass ‘skin’ (in a wood or other finish) to make old bridges ‘new’ and extend their lives by decades in some cases.
We have to give credit where it is due and acknowledge that this innovation was developed to respond to needs identified by some wonderful people at the Sirocco Golf Club in Calgary, Alberta. They were the first to push us in this direction. We first heard from Dean Clarke the Superintendent at Sirocco and later from Tom Ellison the General Manager at Sirocco.
They identified that they had 9 bridges that were still OK but going relatively fast. The substructures were fine but the decks were on the verge of needing replacement. Working together, we came up with the idea of smoothing the decks to the point where we could bond and seal a thin, custom-manufactured fiberglass skin (in a wood finish) to the existing decks. The process also involves sealing the joints of the ‘skins’ – which were made in sections to custom-fit over the entire deck.
This achieves a number of really important things:
The bridge looks ‘new’. Everything you can see is in fact new and the remainder is hidden.
The deck is now a low-maintenance, long-lasting fiberglass surface.
The deck and substructure are now sealed from any further moisture or UV exposure or penetration. The deterioration of the substructure will now virtually stop.
Pre & post coating shows the dramatic difference between the ‘before’ and ‘after’.
We are now working with the Sirocco team to complete the process on their remaining bridges. At the same time, we are extended the offer for this product and service to the broader market as our research tells us that there is substantial potential for this to be a huge benefit to many of our customers to allow them to save a lot of money.
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.
At times we drive our factory technicians ‘around the bend’ by taking on “replica” of some pretty non-standard bridge projects. The factory team loves the challenge, but at the same time, they take great pride in the volume of their output and some projects really do slow them down.
A very reputable construction company, Brenner Builders from Bedford, NY approached us with a challenge. They had a client who had a bridge that they really liked but it was ‘finished’. They wanted to replace it with another one just like it – but in FRP so they would never have to replace it again.
Brenner Builders sent us these 2 pictures.
This was obviously a very unique bridge and did not match any of the models that we have tooled up to supply. However, we love a challenge.
Our factory technicians take a lot of pride in producing bridges that are architecturally accurate and, in the case of a ‘replica’ like this one, in attention to all of the details. It took a little longer than we would have hoped but the picture below – which shows the bridge in the factory crated for shipment – shows an incredibly accurate reproduction.
Brenner Builder’s client was apparently very privacy-conscious so we never did get a picture of the final installation. We did however hear that they were ‘in awe’ of the result – so true to the original.
This year’s GIS is in Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from February 4 to 9.
A new feature at the 2017 GIS is ‘Inside the Ropes’. The Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) and other sponsors are teaming with GIS to create a 9,000 square foot area featuring Golf Course amenities. Links Bridges is one of the key sponsors.
‘Inside the Ropes’ is a must-see at the 2017 GIS. Links Bridges will provide an actual golf course bridge ‘Inside the Ropes’. The bridge will be Links Bridges’ ‘Woody’ model – our most popular golf course bridge. The ‘Woody” is made of 100% fiberglass and has a very authentic wood finish.
This is a unique opportunity for Golf Course Operators to check out the look and feel of a Fiberglass Golf Course bridge. Wood bridges rot, steel bridges rust – both require maintenance. Fiberglass bridges outlast all other bridges. They require no maintenance and retain their natural looks for decades.
Be sure to visit ‘Inside the Ropes’ and come see Links Bridges at Booth # 1612 at the 2017 GIS in Orlando.
The Wood bridge at GIS2017 is 15 feet by 6 feet with ramp in both sides. Would you like to take it home with you?
Why are golf courses still making bridges with pressure-treated wood? Fiberglass bridges are a great option for Golf Courses – wood bridges much less so. Let’s compare the performance of fiberglass bridges with wood bridges.
Fiberglass bridges don’t change for decades – structurally or aesthetically. Wood bridges rot out in 8 to 12 years and start to look shabby by year 2.
The look of the golf course infrastructure is vitally important to the guest experience. Wood bridge solutions also have span limitations and often require pile supports in the wetland that they span. Increasingly, jurisdictions are enacting regulations which make this activity subject to penalties and fines. 100% Fiberglass bridges span up to 50’.
So why are golf courses still making bridges with pressure-treated wood? They know that the bridge will need to be replaced in 10 years or less and will never look as good as it did the day it was installed.
The answer to ‘why’ is, in most cases, short-term budget restrictions and a lack of reasonable alternatives. Bridges made of steel or aluminum have an ‘industrial’ look that is ill-suited to the ambience of golf terrain.
We at Links Bridges has a great solution. Links Bridges supplies golf course bridges made entirely of fiberglass. The fiberglass bridges come in a variety of wood finishes that really look exactly like natural wood.
Fiberglass bridges are surprisingly affordable. The bridges are delivered in 1 piece and can be installed in a couple of hours if foundations are prepared. Compared to wood – much less expensive to install and maintain.
Fiberglass is one of the strongest and most durable building materials in the world. Unlike wood, steel or aluminum, it does not rot, rust, corrode or deteriorate.
Our fiberglass bridges really do provide Golf Courses with the ‘once and for all’ solution.
Let us know what you think!
www.linksbridges.com info@linksbridges 1-888-444-0277
Links Bridges achieved another milestone this week with the installation of a bridge serving a residential complex. The bridge connects a parking lot to a building entrance on the 2nd floor of the building at Carleton Place, Ontario residential complex.
The project involved removal of an existing steel bridge which after 25 years of service had severe rust. The replacement bridge, from Links Bridges Composite Series, was made with FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastics) beams and decks. The guard rail was made entirely of HDPE (High Density Poly-ethelene).
This bridge will last for decades. There are no materials that will rot, rust or require any kind of painting or coatings to maintain the look of the bridge. The management of the building initially became aware of the Links Bridges alternative from 2 bridges that Links Bridges supplied earlier in 2016 to the nearby community of Smiths Falls, Ontario.
The project was not without its challenges. To prepare the bridge, the existing bridge details were carefully measured incorporated into the bridge design details. There was no margin for error. At each end the bridge had to match existing elevations including at the building entrance where the bridge deck needed to be exactly flush with the door jamb. There were existing fences, retaining walls and abutments that had to be accommodated if this bridge was going to fit.
The initial plan had been to remove the old bridge and put in the new bridge all in the same day. Unfortunately, when the old bridge was removed, it was discovered that the existing abutments – which were to be re-used for the new bridge – had suffered some erosion that wasn’t visible until the bridge was removed.
An immediate solution was required because there were residents of the building with access challenges who were reliant on this bridge to come and go. The Links Bridges’ engineer assessed that the base of the abutments was sound but the integrity of the top surface of the abutments were compromised.
The engineer decided against a ‘concrete’ solution primarily because the temperature was well below freezing levels and not a good situation for concrete to properly cure. The engineer designed a solution that involved anchoring steel angles to the (uncompromised) side of the abutment.
The Links Bridges team had the required steel fabricated and coated over night. The next day the team worked in extreme cold conditions to get the abutments ready to receive the bridge. By mid-afternoon, the bridge was lifted into place. Everything fit perfectly and by late afternoon, the bridge was fully operational.
The holidays are a wonderful time to brighten up your bridge. Whether it is a small pedestrian bridge in your backyard, a municipal bridge, or a great urban bridge, some creative minds around the world have spent hours decorating their bridges for the holidays. Check out our top three decorated bridges this holiday season below for some tips and tricks on how to make your bridge stand out this holiday season.
1) Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Located in the heart of Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is famous for its holiday decor. The bridge and the surrounding trees are adorned with sparkling festive lights, bringing you all the magic of the season in the most beautiful setting.
2) Amsterdam Bridge
Located at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, the popular tourist bridge is transformed into a tall ship with holiday lights! Thousands of lights are creatively designed to make you feel like you are indeed walking on a ship when you are simply crossing a bridge.
3) Rhema Park Bridge
This remarkable light show tradition has been in place since 1962 and includes over 60,000 holiday lights across the Rhema Bridge in Oklahoma.
Have you seen an impeccably decorated bridge here in Ottawa? Share your photos with us on our Facebook page. If you are in the market for a bridge to decorate every holiday season, contact our team today. Due to the quality of our work and our unsurpassed customer service, Links Bridges is known as a top builder for bridges in the USA and Canada. We are 100% committed to any project we are involved in and stand behind all our designs and products. If you and your municipality are ready to invest back into the community with highest quality, weather-resistant bridges, contact our team today at email@example.com or by phone at 1.888.444.0277. We would be honoured to serve all your bridge needs.
Bridge safety is pivotal in the winter, especially if that winter is being spent in the ice cold capital of Ottawa. Did you know that when a winter storm hits and the roadways are covered with ice and snow, the first stops for a road crew are bridges? Bridges indeed will freeze over before roads do. Here are a few reasons why bridges get priority snow removal and de-icing services all winter long.
- Bridge locations are more vulnerable to icing over. Without any insulation from the earth, the four way open-structure of a bridge makes it far more susceptible to weather changes (both hot and cold). This means that a bridge is more likely to freeze over than a highway.
- Bridges construction materials are more susceptible to freezing. While highways are built from asphalt, most bridges are made from concrete and metal. Concrete and metal, while far more powerful when bearing loads and standing independently, also trigger a drop in temperature, making it possible to freeze over.
- Bridges trigger a loss of control. When you are speeding down the highway on a snowy day, if you forget to slow down to accommodate the increased ice and snow on a bridge you are passing over, your vehicle is likely to lose control and the potential for accidents is huge.
At Links Bridges, there are a number of considerations applied to the design of our bridges, and in the choice of the materials used in our bridges, which make them adaptable to any extreme weather condition. These include:
- All Links Bridges’ decks are made with 100% FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic). FRP is one of the strongest and most durable materials in the world. Unlike other building materials, it does not rot, rust, corrode or deteriorate, regardless of the weather.
- All Links Bridges’ deck finishes include fine aggregates embedded in the gel coat to create a completely non-skid surface. This is true for pedestrian bridges and for those designed for vehicular traffic. FRP decks are extremely durable and this non-skid will withstand decades of heavy traffic. Snow plows or snow shovels will not damage the deck or compromise the non-skid features.
- Decks are designed with a slight ‘camber’ to allow for water to run-off to the sides. This camber is generally not noticeable except under very close inspection. This prevents any ‘pooling’ of water on the deck which could form ice under winter conditions.
- The deck finishes are done with UV resistant gel coats so the bridge decks will retain their look even after many years of extreme UV exposure.
- The slopes on the decks for arched bridges are kept within ADA (American Disability Act) standards to ensure accessibility and safety for all bridge users.
This winter, be aware and be safe. Slow down before you begin to approach a bridge, don’t slam on your brakes while crossing a bridge, salt any bridges that are access points to your municipality, residence or business and consider signing up for emergency snow removal and de-icing services to ensure that you, your family and your clients are safe. Choose Links Bridges for the most durable, reliable and weather resistant bridge for your project this winter.
Due to the quality of our work and our unsurpassed customer service, Links Bridges is known as a top builder for bridges in the USA and Canada. We are 100% committed to any project we are involved in and stand behind all our designs and products. If you and your municipality are ready to invest back into the community with highest quality, weather-resistant bridges, contact our team today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1.888.444.0277. We would be honoured to serve all your bridge needs.
Links Bridges recently completed a very special bridge project for a prestigious Fortune 500 company that provides construction services and materials throughout the northeast of the USA. Three of the brothers who founded the company have passed on and their successors decided to donate a ‘memorial’ bridge to the founders’ favorite golf course. Read on to learn more about this project and why a reputable Fortune 500 company trusted our team at Links Bridges with their memorial bridge.
One of a Kind Fiberglass Bridge Design
The client selected Links Bridges’ Hogan Bridge – an arched bridge with a stone-finish side. This bridge, which is made of 100% fiberglass, has a ‘concrete-finish’ deck, a ‘granite-finish’ curb and the stone fascia is done in the ‘rubble-style’ stone.
Exceptional Customer Service & Affordability
Links Bridges staff visited the site early in the project and determined that this new bridge could re-use the steel beams that were in place for the existing bridge that was being replaced thus saving the buyer several thousand dollars.
Special measures had to be taken in the manufacturing process to accommodate the customization required to use the existing structural beams. Also, the bridge is used for vehicles weighing up to 14,000 lbs., which is above the normal parameters for a golf course bridge.
Links Bridges manufactured custom, re-enforced deck panels in shapes to create the ‘arch’ effect over the existing flat steel beams.
The stone fascia was made in custom sizes to fit with the terrain. The ‘granite’ curbs were made in sections to allow for field installation. On the center section of the curbs on each side is an embossed memorial message dedicating the bridge to the honorees.
Links Bridges is proud to offer golf course bridges, memorial bridges, residential bridges, park and trail bridges and enclosed bridges or building connectors. Our specialties include stone bridges, wood bridges, composite bridges, limestone bridges, steel bridges, metal bridges, HyBridge bridges, FRP bridges and aluminum bridges. We are also known as custom bridge builders who design, produce and maintain custom golf course bridges, custom park and trail bridges as well as custom residential bridges. Our design capabilities include arched bridges, flat bridges, Geodesic frame bridges, foot bridges and tunnel style or enclosed bridges.
Due to the quality of our work and our unsurpassed customer service, Links Bridges is known as a top builder for bridges in the USA and Canada. We are 100% committed to any project we are involved in and stand behind all our designs and products. If you and your municipality are ready to invest back into the community with highest quality bridges, contact our team today at email@example.com or by phone at 1.888.444.0277. We would be honoured to serve all your bridge needs.