Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Links Bridges: The Wedding Bridge

Every bridge project we ever do has its own interesting story. This story is about a gentleman who needed a bridge to access his man-made island so his daughter could have her wedding ceremony on the island. The interesting twist to this story is how his insistence on a certain bridge feature led to an innovation that is now an integral part of the Links Bridges’ menu offering.

The requirement was for a 35’ long simple arched bridge – The Woody without the curbs. After checking several other options, the customer decided Links Bridges’ Woody was the best choice. When we provided the initial drawing set, he was surprised – and disappointed – to see that the bottom of the bridge beams were flat and it was only the deck and top of the beams that were arched.

That style of beam had been designed by our engineers as the optimal for structural qualities. It had always been in our plans to find the right formula to move to completely arched beams and we had already done a lot of the testing – just not enough to ‘finish the job’. This gentleman’s requirement for that feature was all the impetus that we needed to get moving.

Sophisticated fiberglass production requires the fabricator to design/engineer the style of structural cloths that will achieve the structural, tensile, flexibility and other qualities for the end product. Our engineers and technicians resumed their calculations and testing and actually came up with a formula for fully arched beams that even out-performed its ‘theoretical’ capacities.

We are extremely happy with the result and the nice clean look it gives the bridge. We are now incorporating this beam design into all of our arched bridges where the beam is visible. Besides what we think is a nicer ‘look’, this also provides the advantage of increased clearance in the event of minor flooding.

The ‘Wedding Bridge’ was delivered on time and installed by Links Bridges’ field team. There were happy endings all around.
I am sure that we can say confidently the buyer’s expectations were exceeded. Like all of our Woody-style bridges, they are 100% fiberglass but you really can’t tell them from ‘real’ wood. We even got a picture of the wedding party – a very good looking group.

Stay tuned for our continuing series of Bridge Stories. More to come…

Sirocco Golf Club in Calgary, Alberta
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Renewal

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.

RenewalSirocco Golf Club in Calgary, Alberta

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.

 

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Focus: Brooklyn Bridge

Bridges in the News – Brooklyn Bridge

There are more than 2,000 bridges in and around New York City. Some, of course, are better known — and more expensive — than others.

Brooklyn Bridge: The Eighth Wonder of the World

When the Brooklyn Bridge opened in May of 1883, it was an engineering achievement dubbed “The Eighth Wonder of the World,”.

The notorious and corrupt Boss Tweed — the man who opposed the creation of the early pneumatic subway system — loved the idea of a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn, which were still two different cities back then. In fact, he was so interested that he racked up $65,000 of bribes to get the $1.5 million of bonds issued to back the massive undertaking.

 

pic_giant_052915_SM_Brooklyn-Bridge-DT

 

Of course, Tweed wasn’t just involved in the project out of the goodness of his heart — he wanted to skim some money off the top, like he usually did with public works projects. Construction began in 1869, but Tweed was arrested in 1871 — though his devious plans seemed almost a harbinger of bad things to come.

In the course of construction, somewhere between 20 and 30 men died, including the bridge’s designer, John Roebling. After his foot got crushed between pilings and a boat, the German engineer had some toes amputated and later died of tetanus before construction even began. His 32-year-old son took over the job, but later became partially paralyzed from a bad case of the bends — acquired during the dangerous pressurized construction process — and had to let his wife oversee the rest of the construction.

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The Brooklyn Bridge, shown here in 2016, claimed between 20 and 30 lives during the construction process in the 1800s.

It was the world’s longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1883, and there was a parade with an hour-long fireworks display to celebrate. Though it’s free today, the Brooklyn Bridge originally cost a penny to cross by foot, a nickel by horse and a dime by wagon.