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.

bridge
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Links Bridges & The Fighting Irish

This bridge story is about another milestone in the Links Bridges legacy.  We want our bridges to be widely available to all that would benefit from their unique properties – regardless of budgets and applications.  At the same time, we like seeing our bridges on TV and to achieve that we need to work with buyers – particularly golf courses – that attract TV coverage.

Our bridges really are world-class in looks and performance.  No other golf course bridge will look as good and retain those good looks for many decades without any kind of maintenance.  In addition, the ease of installation and choice of finishes really makes it an ideal bridge for any golf course setting.  (The writer apologizes for that shameless plug.)

The Warren Golf Course is on the campus of the world-famous University of Notre Dame.  It was recently announced that The Warren Golf Course has been selected as the host for the 2019 U.S. Senior Open Championship.  This is obviously a major, prestigious event that will attract major crowds and a world-wide TV audience.

The team at The Warren Golf Course determined that they needed a couple of bridges to provide some more crossings of the water ways on the course to accommodate the expected crowds.  They chose 2 ‘Timber’ model bridges in the ‘weathered wood’ finish we offer.  We are not habitual ‘name-droppers’ but we were told that this finish was selected Ben Crenshaw, who along with Bill Coore are the architects of The Warren GC.

Warrenbridge

2 Bridges sitting in our factory while waiting shipment to The Warren GC

Don’t be fooled by the appearance – these bridges are made of 100% fiberglass – structural beams and deck.  The curbs are made of re-cycled material that has the same long-lasting properties as fiberglass.

Installation of these bridges has been delayed while the course team deals with the impact of some flooding damage.  We will be back to update this bridge story with some new pictures once the bridges are installed.

 

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.

GIS2017
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

“Inside The Ropes” at Golf Industry Show (GIS2017)

Links Bridges is pleased to announce a partnership with the 2017 Golf Industry Show – (GIS2017).

This year’s GIS is in Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from February 4 to 9.

A new feature at the 2017 GIS is ‘Inside the Ropes’.  The Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) and other sponsors are teaming with GIS to create a 9,000 square foot area featuring Golf Course amenities.  Links Bridges is one of the key sponsors.

‘Inside the Ropes’ is a must-see at the 2017 GIS.  Links Bridges will provide an actual golf course bridge ‘Inside the Ropes’.  The bridge will be Links Bridges’ ‘Woody’ model – our most popular golf course bridge.  The ‘Woody” is made of 100% fiberglass and has a very authentic wood finish.

 

This is a unique opportunity for Golf Course Operators to check out the look and feel of a Fiberglass Golf Course bridge.   Wood bridges rot, steel bridges rust – both require maintenance.  Fiberglass bridges outlast all other bridges.  They  require no maintenance and retain their natural looks for decades.

Be sure to visit ‘Inside the Ropes’ and come see Links Bridges at Booth # 1612 at the 2017 GIS in Orlando.

The Wood bridge at GIS2017 is 15 feet by 6 feet with ramp in both sides. Would you like to take it home with you?

 

 

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.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Why Fortune 500 Companies are Choosing Links Bridges

Links Bridges recently completed a very special bridge project for a prestigious Fortune 500 company that provides construction services and materials throughout the northeast of the USA.   Three of the brothers who founded the company have passed on and their successors decided to donate a ‘memorial’ bridge to the founders’ favorite golf course. Read on to learn more about this project and why a reputable Fortune 500 company trusted our team at Links Bridges with their memorial bridge.

 

One of a Kind Fiberglass Bridge Design

The client selected Links Bridges’ Hogan Bridge – an arched bridge with a stone-finish side.  This bridge, which is made of 100% fiberglass, has a ‘concrete-finish’ deck, a ‘granite-finish’ curb and the stone fascia is done in the ‘rubble-style’ stone.

Exceptional Customer Service & Affordability

Links Bridges staff visited the site early in the project and determined that this new bridge could re-use the steel beams that were in place for the existing bridge that was being replaced thus saving the buyer several thousand dollars.

Customization Opportunities

Special measures had to be taken in the manufacturing process to accommodate the customization required to use the existing structural beams.   Also, the bridge is used for vehicles weighing up to 14,000 lbs., which is above the normal parameters for a golf course bridge.

Links Bridges manufactured custom, re-enforced deck panels in shapes to create the ‘arch’ effect over the existing flat steel beams.

 

Deck panels being fitted over the steel beams.

Deck panels being fitted over the steel beams.

 

The stone fascia was made in custom sizes to fit with the terrain.  The ‘granite’ curbs were made in sections to allow for field installation.  On the center section of the curbs on each side is an embossed memorial message dedicating the bridge to the honorees.

 

‘Granite’ curbs and ‘Rubble stone’ fascia finish the overall look.

‘Granite’ curbs and ‘Rubble stone’ fascia finish the overall look.

 

links-3

 

Links Bridges is proud to offer golf course bridges, memorial 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 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.

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