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…

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.

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.

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.

1 2