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.