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…

Royal St. Cloud
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

The New Bridge at Royal St. Cloud Golf Links

One of the many benefits of a new bridge from Links Bridges is how it helps improve the look of a golf course.  Because our bridges are made of 100% fiberglass, the benefit endures as these bridges don’t show their age in the same way as wood bridges.  A great example of ‘changing the look’ is a bridge recently installed at the popular Royal St. Cloud Golf Links in St. Cloud, Florida.

Links Bridges had a bridge – The Woody – on display at the recent Golf Industry Show in Orlando, FL.

The WoodyThe Woody

We wanted to find a buyer for the display bridge so we didn’t incur costs to ship it home. On the last day of Golf Industry Show 2017, at around 3pm, two gentlemen dropped by our booth. They were Bill Filson and Tom Butler. I did not know at that time that I was talking to Royal St. Clouds Golf Links owners. I told them about the bridge on display and I took them to see it.

The Woody

From left: Tom Butler, Don Ferrar, Bill Filson, Mike Gwaltnay, Regina Sosing

I was thrilled when Bill and Tom showed interest in the bridge. Bill wanted to be sure their Superintendent examined the bridge first.  So he went to look for Mike Gwaltnay.

 Mike arrived and checked the bridge. Bill, Tom and Mike had some discussion.  Their other concern was how to get the bridge from the trade show to their course that afternoon and there were other details.

These gentlemen are obviously ‘problem-solvers’.  By 4PM the transaction was done and sealed with a handshake.  By the next morning, the bridge was delivered to its new home at the Royal St. Cloud Golf Links.

I visited Royal St. Cloud the next day. Royal St. Cloud is a very impressive golf club.  You can see the care and attention to detail every where you look.    The place is immaculate.  The one notable exception was an old bridge on the 7th hole on the Blue nine that ‘had seen better days’.

 

The Old bridge at Royal St. Cloud Golf Links

A couple of weeks later, this is what that same spot looks like.  As you can see, they didn’t just install the new bridge, they really did some great finishing work to complement the bridge.

    

Photos by Mike Gwaltnay of Royal St. cloud Golf Links

Royal St. Cloud distinguishes itself in a very competitive market by, among other things, paying attention to detail and doing things like bridge replacements the right way.  Links Bridges is very proud to have the opportunity to deliver one of our bridges to the Royal St. Cloud. Visit Royal St. Clouds Golf Links in St. Cloud, Florida.

 

residentials bridge
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Stories

There is a story behind every bridge we have ever made. We like to share these bridge stories because we hope that you will find them interesting and will want to work with us to make your own ‘bridge story’.

There is no shortage of material for the Bridge Stories.  Every project involves some combination of people, places and challenges.  We have been fortunate to meet and deal with some outstanding people as we have taken on more and more bridge projects.

It has also given our team the opportunity to do business in many interesting places in North America.  This is its own learning experience and it has a value that is hard to measure.

On the technical side, our business is committed to innovation.  This means our engineers and technicians are always be dealing with new ‘first-time’ challenges.  That’s a good thing.  It pushes all of us to constantly learn and improve and it makes us all better for it.

These ‘bridge stories’ sometimes intentionally omit names of people and their organizations.  This is out of respect for the privacy interests of our valued customers.

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: 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)

National Golf Course Owners Association – Reception – GIS 2016

The Links Bridges Team was honored to attend the NGCOA (National Golf Course Owners Association) reception at the beautiful OMNI Hotel in downtown San Diego.  It was a great time with many of the key people in the Golf Industry in attendance.

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The hard working team of NGCOA at Golf Industry Show 2016 in San Diego, CA

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The Bridge Lady of Links Bridges at NGCOA Reception, Golf Industry Show 2016 in San Diego, CA

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The Bridge Lady with Mike Woods, PGA Director of Golf; PGA Director of FootGolf and Vice President, Morton Golf. Sacramento CA

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Links Bridges CEO, Don Ferrar with long time friends Genevieve and Bill Brown, owners of Mont Cascades Golf Course in Cantley, Quebec. Bill Brown is a member of NGCOA Board.

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Great to meet Linda and Joseph Priddy. Joseph is the General Manager of Santa Maria Country Club, Santa Maria CA.

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