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.

branding
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

‘Branding’

This bridge story is an illustration of how you can use the bridge as one more tool to promote your brand.  It’s not a long story but there is an important message that might be useful for some.

Links Bridges was contracted by The Marshes Golf Club to provide a replacement for a wood bridge that had suffered the fate that eventually befalls all wood bridges – rotten deck and rotten beams.

The Marshes is a prestigious public course in Canada’s capital city – Ottawa.  The Marshes sits in the midst of high rise buildings with millions of square feet of high end office space.  A luxury hotel – The Brookstreet is part of the property.

The Marshes, office buildings – which house numerous world leading technology companies – and golf course are under common ownership.  The golf course was designed by world-renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.

The bridge was a simple enough project – 50’ long X 6’ wide in a wood finish.  They chose the flat ‘Timber’ model because the bridge is set in a bit of gulley and spans one of the many wetlands that gives The Marshes its name.

One of the features that Links Bridges uniquely offers is for logos to be incorporated on to the decks of bridges.  These are actually done with a laser process that results in a ‘negatively’ embossed logo on the deck.  The significance of this is that it means the logo lasts forever – like the bridge.  It won’t fade and weaken over time.  Faded logos do a great disservice to a brand as they convey the wrong message.

The Marshes took advantage of the opportunity presented by the new bridge to place not only The Marshes logo on one end but also the logo for The Brookstreet Hotel.  This is a clever means of ‘linking’ the brands and reminding golfers that the hotel and its many amenities are integral to the golf property.

brandingMarshees

Two ends of the same bridge showing different logos – the distinctive The Marshes Logo with its red-wing blackbird and The Brookstreet Hotel with its stylized ‘B’.

The main point of this bridge story is that good organizations recognize the value and importance of promoting their ‘brand’.  Links Bridges can help by incorporating your logo on the deck of your new bridge(s)

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.

 

Carlteon Place
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

In a hurry? What could go wrong?

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.

rotten wood

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.

Carlteon Place

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.

Brenner Builder
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

“Make me one of these, please”

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.

Old bridgeold wood bridge

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.

fiberglass bridgereplica

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.

100% Fiber Glass Bridge
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Links Bridges reaches milestone in Carleton Place!

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.

 

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.

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:

links1

 

After:

links2

 

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.

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