Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

How to Protect Your Bridge this Winter

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.

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 info@linksbridges.com or by phone at 1.888.444.0277. We would be honoured to serve all your bridge needs.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Why Fortune 500 Companies are Choosing Links Bridges

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.

Customization Opportunities

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.

 

Deck panels being fitted over the steel beams.

Deck panels being fitted over the 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.

 

‘Granite’ curbs and ‘Rubble stone’ fascia finish the overall look.

‘Granite’ curbs and ‘Rubble stone’ fascia finish the overall look.

 

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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 info@linksbridges.com or by phone at 1.888.444.0277. We would be honoured to serve all your bridge needs.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Why Bridges are Vital to Municipalities

According to Indigenous and Municipal Relations, the Province of Manitoba recently contributed $1.0 million to the Municipal Bridge Program to support communities in revitalizing their local pedestrian, commuter and public bridges and structures. The program requires a detailed project/bridge design, including each phase of the construction and its associated costs. It also requires that all this information is prepared and approved by a professional engineer who has ample experience in municipal bridge design and bridge engineering for municipalities.

 

Meanwhile, in Alberta, the AAMC’s agrees that “rural roads and bridges are not only vital to local communities, but serve as important arteries to help Alberta’s economy grow”.

 

Finally, in April 2016, right here in Ontario, the Government of Ontario delivered $20 million dollars to municipalities across the province to make road and bridges safer. This project, which runs through until 2017, was designed to “make roads and bridges safer, create economic growth and create or sustain jobs”.

 

The value of high quality, high performing and long-lasting municipal bridges is priceless. In fact, the majority of rural municipality expenses is spent on managing transportation infrastructure, like bridge revitalization and road construction. Why is it that  bridges so important to the economy of Canada’s municipalities?

 

  • Bridges serve the oil and gas, forestry and agricultural industries by providing access points to our countries’ most prized natural resources
  • As bridges age, some municipalities are forced to close roads and primary access points through communities due to the weight restrictions or cost of maintaining bridges.
  • Bridges in municipalities provide rural communities a gateway to major highways, tourism centres and primary health, education and recreation facilities.

 

Wherever your municipality is located, the construction of solid, durable, sustainable and environmental friendly bridges is essential. Municipal bridges do not need to cost an arm and a leg to your municipality either. The team at Links Bridges has decades of experience engineering the highest quality of municipal bridges.

 

We offer golf course 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 golf course bridges, residential bridges or park & trail 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 info@linksbridges.com or by phone at 1.888.444.0277. We would be honoured to serve all your bridge needs.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Ottawa Bridge Focus: Plaza Bridge

The city of Ottawa has gone through many changes over the years as buildings, streets, and bridges have been constructed, demolished, and rebuilt. The current shape and layout of the city is very different from what it was even a hundred years ago.  The Plaza Bridge, a pedestrian and automotive bridge which crosses the Rideau Canal just south of the Ottawa locks, is one such landmark that has changed drastically over time.

In the place where the Plaza Bridge now stands there originally stood two bridges — the Sappers Bridge and the Dufferin Bridge. The Sappers Bridge was built in 1827, one of Ottawa’s first bridges, and was named so because it was constructed by the 15th Company of the Royal Sappers and Miners. It was joined by the Dufferin Bridge in the early 1870s, forming a triangle across the Rideau Canal.

At the start of the 20th century, a hole was created in Sappers Bridge in order to allow rail traffic to pass through and head onto a new station that was being built just east of the Rideau Canal. The entire area underwent extensive renovation during the early 1900s, which saw the construction of the Union Station as well as the Chateau Laurier hotel. As a result, rail traffic was re-routed under the bridge along the canal’s eastern side and onto the Royal Alexandra Interprovincial Bridge and towards Gatineau.

In 1912, both the Dufferin Bridge and the Sappers Bridge were demolished. The newly-created bridge was named Plaza Bridge because, in bringing together Wellington Street and Elgin Street on its west side to merge with Rideau Street on the east side, it created an interesting ‘Y’ shape, designed to be used as an open public space. The resulting triangular plaza was named Connaught Park, after Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, who held the post of Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916. Today, the location is known as Confederation Square and is the site of the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Plaza Bridge is constructed of three masonry spans: the western span goes over a roadway along the western bank of the Canal; the central span lies over the Canal; and the eastern span runs over the former railway tunnel along the east bank of the Canal. The Plaza Bridge lies just north of the Mackenzie King Bridge, making it the northernmost bridge over the canal and giving anyone crossing it a stunning view of the Parliament buildings, the Ottawa Canal, and the Chateau Laurier.

 

The newly-built Plaza Bridge in 1921. Source: The Contract Record, Vol. 26, No. 17, April 24, 1912.

The newly-built Plaza Bridge in 1921. Source: The Contract Record, Vol. 26, No. 17, April 24, 1912.

Links Bridges
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Restore Your Bridge Back to Life

We live in a disposable era, where the moment things break we either leave them that way (and promise we will fix them next weekend) or we replace them entirely, scrapping otherwise functional materials in exchange for a quick fix. Our mission at Links Bridges is to save our customers their time, their money, and their sanity. We have created a line of sustainable, eco-friendly bridges for municipalities, golf courses, and residences that don’t need to be fixed or replaced every few years. Additionally, we strive to replace the wastefulness in the landscaping industry by encouraging and providing services to accommodate bridge restoration and renewal.

With Links Bridges bridge restoration, our clients get to experience both an aesthetic and functional ‘new’ bridge at a fraction of the cost. Here is how:

First, consider that any bridge has 3 main components:

  1. Foundations/Abutments
  2. Beams
  3. Deck/Rails

It is often the case that the foundations and beams are still in great shape long after the deck has deteriorated.  This is particularly true for steel beam/wood deck bridges.

Our team of expert bridge designers and installers have perfected the art of bridge restoration, whereby, rather than replace the entire bridge when the deck needs replacement, Links Bridges can custom fabricate a new FRP deck.  Done properly, it can provide all of the benefits – including the look – of an entirely ‘new’ bridge. The best part is that this can all happen at a fraction of the cost of a new bridge.

The Links Bridges crew recently worked with the Sirocco Golf Club in Alberta on a successful restoration project.  The pictures below show the result.

Before:

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After:

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If your municipality, residence, or golf course has an older bridge that could use some tender love and care, contact our bridge experts at Links Bridges today for a free consultation on how to restore and revitalize your bridge. Whether your bridge runs through a golf course, a park, a trail, your backyard or otherwise, we can help bring it back to life. Contact us at info@linksbridges.com or call us at 888-444-0277.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Focus: Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is, undeniably, one of the best known bridges in the world. Spanning the Golden Gate Strait, a channel that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, it has been named one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. This is really no surprise, as the Golden Gate Bridge has now become a globally recognized symbol for San Francisco and the state of California and is a must-see for tourists.

Prior to the bridge being built, the shortest and most practical way to cross the Golden Gate Strait was by boat. As a result, a ferry service was started, which ran from as early as 1820. However, many wanted to build a bridge to connect San Francisco to Marin County. As the city of San Francisco was still largely serviced by boats and ferries, its connection to other cities around the bay was hampered and, as such, its growth was slower than other large American cities of the time.

A bridge proposal was put forth in 1916 by James Wilkins, a former engineering student. However, the city’s chief engineer valued the design at $100 million, which was drastically impractical at the time. A call was put out to bridge engineers to see if it could be done in a more cost-effective manner. Joseph Strauss, an ambitious structural engineer, responded and drew up an initial design, which he said could be completed at the more moderate cost of $17 million. The project was approved by local authorities, provided that the inexperienced Strauss would accept advice from several consulting project experts. A suspension bridge design was chosen as the most practical, due to recent advances in metallurgy.

The project faced opposition from many angles; there were concerns the bridge would interfere with ship traffic, or that it would provide major competition to the existing ferry service. However, there were also allies, such as the ever-growing automobile industry, which encouraged the construction of roads and bridges to increase the need for cars. Despite opposition and funding issues, construction eventually began in 1933 and was completed in 1937, ahead of time and $1.3 million under budget. At 4200 feet long, the Golden Gate Bridge remained the longest suspension bridge in the world for almost thirty years, until 1964 when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City was completed.

Though Strauss was the chief engineer of the project and was in charge of the overall design and construction, his lack of experience in cable-suspension designs meant that other experts in engineering and architecture were called in. The final structural suspension design can be attributed to Leon Moisseiff, the architect of the Manhattan Bridge, who introduced his “deflection theory” to reduce stress on the bridge towers by allowing the roadway to flex in the wind. An unknown residential architect called Irving Morrow designed the the shape of the bridge towers, the lighting, and other elements, while the principal engineer was Charles Alton Ellis, who did much of the technical and theoretical work that built the bridge, but received none of the credit in his lifetime. Strauss, wanting to take all of the credit, greatly downplayed the contributions of his collaborators and it wasn’t until much later that the contributions of the others on the design team were properly recognized.

Keep checking back to our blog for many more bridge features! Do you have a favourite bridge in the world? Please post your thoughts or photos in the comments below. If you are looking for help to design and install a bridge on your property, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team today.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridging Communities: How Municipal Bridges Can Transform Communities

Just one year ago this week, Smiths Falls city councillors came together to approve a pre-fab carbon fibre bridge that would replace all three of Smiths Falls bridges. In 2012, a flood swept away bridge abutments and gravely impacted the foundation of all three bridges, preventing the community, tourists and boaters from truly enjoying the pristine and picturesque community of Smiths Falls and its waterfront.

 

One year later, Links Bridges is honoured to have drafted, designed and installed three exceptional municipal bridges that have established a pedestrian route around Smiths Falls parkland. As predicted by Art Manhire, the Director of Community Services, the bridges not only heightened the number of residents and travellers enjoying the waterfront, but also increased the geese population along the waters edges. The first bridge connects Turtle Island with the shoreline and seconds as a damn for the water system.

 

As with all Links Bridges designs, the Smiths Falls carbon fibre bridge has a lifespan of 50 years plus, are completely resistant to graffiti and was quick and easy to install. The municipality paid an affordable rain for the bridge restoration project and is reaping the benefits of having a complete connected community.

 

The Smiths Falls bridge replacement was a successful restoration project that makes our team proud to be in the bridge business. To learn more about Links Bridges municipal bridge options – from parks to trails to community centres and more – contact our team today at info@linksbridges.com or call us at 888-444-0277.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Restore Your Bridge Back to Life

We live in a disposable era, where the moment things break we either leave them that way (and promise we will fix them next weekend) or we replace them entirely, scrapping otherwise functional materials in exchange for a quick fix. Our mission at Links Bridges is to save our customers their time, their money and their sanity. We have created a line of sustainable, eco-friendly bridges to municipalities, golf courses and residences that don’t need to be fixed or replaced every few years. Additionally, we strive to replace the wastefulness in the landscaping industry by encouraging and providing services to accommodate bridge restoration and renewal.

With Links Bridges bridge restoration, our clients get to experience both an aesthetic and functional ‘new’ bridge at a fraction of the cost. Here is how:

First, consider that any bridge has 3 main components:

Foundations/Abutments

Beams

Deck/Rail

 

It is often the case that the foundations and beams are still in great shape long after the deck has deteriorated. This is particularly true for steel beam/wood deck bridges.

Our team of expert bridge designers and installers have perfected the art of bridge restoration, whereby, rather than replace the entire bridge when the deck needs replacement, Links Bridges can custom fabricate a new FRP deck. Done properly, it can provide all of the benefits – including the look – of an entirely ‘new’ bridge. The best part is that this can all happen at a fraction of the cost of a new bridge.

The Links Bridges crew recently worked with the Sirocco Golf Club in Alberta on a successful restoration project. The pictures below show the result.

If your municipality, residence or golf course has an older bridge that could use some tender love and care, contact our bridge experts at Links Bridges today for a free consultation on how to restore and revitalize your bridge. Whether your bridge runs through a golf course, a park, a trail, your backyard or otherwise, we can help bring it back to life. Contact us at info@linksbridges.com or call us at 888-444-0277.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

The Golf Inc Strategies Summit

All about the The Golf Inc Strategies Summit 2016

The team at Links Bridges is pleased to be a part of this weekend’s Golf Inc Strategies Summit. The summit is located at the breathtaking Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. Regina, our very own Bridge Lady, has travelled all the way to Texas, with her camera and questions in hand as she records her meetings with many of the golf industries greatest influencers, aficionados and players.

 

Meeting New Friends

We were honored to meet with Marko Kaldoja from Pärnu Bay Golf Links who represents two golf courses and describes the Omni Barton Golf Course as “fantastic…with really great views” and is eager to “hear great ideas, share some knowledge and learn a thing or two that we can implement back home”. His courses have concrete bridges and is eager to meet with Regina to learn more about Links Bridges’ unique and sustainable fiberglass bridges.

 

Chris Karamitsos is from Tampa, Florida of Millichap National Golf Resort Properties Group. When asked why he is here he tells me his hope is to “meet with some industry professionals and tell them about what is going on with the golf transaction market”.

 

Lessons from the Keynote Speakers

On day two, we enjoyed the opening Keynote presentation about predicting Golf’s Future with Eric Affeldt, the CEO of ClubCorp, Dana Garmany, the CEO of Troon (who teaches us all the tricks of the trade when it comes to golf course management) Peter Hill, the Chairman & CEO of Billy Casper and Jim Hinckley, the CEO of American Golf (who knows the industry inside and out as a reputable executive in the course management and ownership industry).

Here are some of our favorite panelist insights and predictions that they presented when they were asked the burning question at this year’s Summit:  “What would you say is going to happen here in the next five years?”

  • The population playing golf will remain stable and people will have much easier access to golf courses and resorts with the varying technological advancements in the industry.
  • The consumer will have more and more choices on where to play golf, how to set up your tee times (online and offline) and the consumer can make decisions more last minute than in the past.
  • Food and Beverage services, special services are becoming more important to each course
  • It is changing from a mere athletic endeavor to an entire experience.
  • Initiations fees will remain low, as people are hesitant to spend a lot of money right now.
  • In the last six months, corporate travel has reached an all-time low, and this means there may be a decrease in corporate related golf travel in the near future.

With a schedule filled to the brim with inspirational speakers, educational sessions and networking events, we expect to learn. To stay up to date on our video blog updates from Regina, Like Us On Facebook. Learn more about the Golf Inc Strategies Summit online at http://www.golfincmagazine.com/strategies-summit/

 

Here are some photos from the summit:

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Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Top 5 Reasons to Choose “The Side Beamer” Bridge

The Side Beamer Bridge is a classic bridge design using our space frame engineering technology. This bridge can span up to 150′ in a flat or arched design. It provides a much more contemporary appearance compared to the more ‘industrial-looking’ big beam bridges. Its appearance can be enhanced with any of the Links Bridges’ Composite Series designs as the deck and guard rails.

Here are our top five reasons to choose the Side Beamer Bridge from our collection of bridge styles and designs.

Long-lasting

The Space Frame has a proprietary coating which outperforms galvanizing by a factor of 3 to 1. The remainder of the bridge is 100% FRP which will retain its structural integrity and appearance for fifty years or more.

Low-Maintenance

The Side Beamer bridge will provide many, many years of rust-free functionality. The side beam, deck and guard rails can last decades with low to no maintenance requirements. Relative to a traditional galvanized steel structure, this bridge is exceptionally maintenance free.

Easy Installation

The Space Frame support is lightweight relative to traditional steel beams. The deck and guard rail materials are far lighter than wood, and this means the installation of the Side Beamer Bridge requires less healthy equipment for installation and smaller abutments.

Turn-Key Solutions

Our team will provide engineering on the bridge and foundations, alongside all of the necessary parts to assemble the bridge, timely delivery to your bridge construction site and full turn key installation. Choose from custom lengths up to 150’ and widths up to 24’, custom branding options and eco-friendly materials.

Affordable

The Side Beamer Bridge from Links Bridges is a cost-effective design when compared to other enclosed bridges and building connectors.

Are you ready to install your Side Beamer Bridge? Contact our team and we will provide a detailed, customized quote within three business days.

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