Swan
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Story – The Swan Bridge

Bridge Story – The Swan Bridge

Part of our business at Links Bridges deals with bridges for residential properties.  One such case involved a gentleman in the mid-west who needed a bridge to connect to an island in the large pond in his front yard.  One curious aspect was that he needed the bridge to be arched so his swans could comfortably swim under the bridge.

We were pleased to be able to accommodate this request but our curiosity was piqued as well.  You don’t meet someone every day who has pet swans.  We found the story about the swans both interesting and instructive.

Woody

Apparently, in this area there are business from which you can rent swans for the spring to fall seasons.  The swans are usually delivered in ‘couples’ with the expectation that they may mate during this time.

These swans have been ‘clipped’ so that they are not able to fly and are quite content as long as they have a body of water, a food supply and are not threatened by predators.

 

Swan

What was particularly interesting was to learn that the motivation for people to rent swans is to keep geese away.  This may be widely known but it was new for us – apparently swans will not tolerate geese in their ‘territory’ and are capable of inflicting ‘death by drowning’ to a goose that tries to co-habit their pond.

Woody

We have seen a number golf courses where goose populations were a menace.  As we see those places in the future, we will be certainly be letting them know about the potential remedy of introducing some elegant swans to the property.

Like all of our bridge stories, this one has a happy ending.  The bridge was delivered and installed.  In the picture below you can see Mr. Swan contentedly emerging from a swim under the bridge.  This bridge is a typical ‘Woody’ model done in a weathered wood finish.

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…

The Hogan bridge
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Transformation

While we believe that it is always better to be humble, sometimes you earn the right to ‘toot your horn’ as the saying goes.  This is a story that we are very proud about from a number of perspectives.

A very successful and reputable construction company out of Connecticut – O & G, Inc. – asked us to come and look at a bridge they wanted to replace on the Torrington Golf Club in Goshen, CT.  Torrington is a beautiful golf club with a rich history, including hosting several major regional and national competitions.

The bridge in question was 20’ X 12’ and was used for equipment weighing up to 14,000 lbs.  O & G was donating the bridge to Torrington as a memorial bridge in honor of 3 deceased brothers who were founding partners of O & G and had spent many enjoyable days at Torrington GC.

After supplying an initial quote, we went to examine the old bridge – wood planks on 3 steel beams.  Based on our analysis of the bridge, we determined that the steel beams were in great shape and that we could reduce the cost considerably by incorporating these into the new design.

old bridge

The original bridge

The particular challenge presented to us was that O & G wanted something very special as a memorial bridge.  Working with our Design Team, O & G decided on a ‘Hogan’ style bridge which has an arched deck and ‘rubble’ stone fascia on each side.  We had to design and engineer a solution that arched the deck, accommodated Vehicular Live Loads of 14,000 lbs. and had a fascia on each side.

The solution started with making structural deck panels with progressively deeper beams to create the arched deck.  We custom fabricated 5 – 4’ panels, each the full width of the bridge, and these were attached to the steel beams to make the ‘structural-arched deck’.

Deck panels being fitted over the steel beams.

From there, we attached the ‘stone’ fascia to the deck beams and capped it with a curb.  The curbs on each side of the bridge deck have inscriptions denoting the memorial tribute that was the inspiration for the bridge.

 The finish product look like this Hogan Bridge. (We are waiting for a picture of the installed bridge at O & G Inc.)The Hogan Bridge

To anyone looking at this bridge, it appears to have a concrete deck, granite curbs and ‘rubble’ stone with mortar as a structural arch on the sides.  In reality, all of the components added to the steel beams that were retained were made of 100% fiberglass.

We started this story by telling you that our team was particularly proud about this project.  Let us close by telling you why:

  • Our association with the O & G and Torrington GC Teams – a more professional group of people would be hard to find. Their thoroughness and attention to detail made them a pleasure to work with.

  • Our efforts to help our client save money by retaining and re-using steel beams that have another 25+ years of useful life left in them. We credit our Design Team with engineering a method to create an arched deck on flat steel.

  • The final product is really a ‘work of art’ that will serve the members of the Torrington GC for many generations to come and provide a lasting tribute to the 3 deceased brothers who are honored with inscriptions on the bridge.

 

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.

 

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?

 

 

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.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Ottawa Bridge Focus: Plaza Bridge

The city of Ottawa has gone through many changes over the years as buildings, streets, and bridges have been constructed, demolished, and rebuilt. The current shape and layout of the city is very different from what it was even a hundred years ago.  The Plaza Bridge, a pedestrian and automotive bridge which crosses the Rideau Canal just south of the Ottawa locks, is one such landmark that has changed drastically over time.

In the place where the Plaza Bridge now stands there originally stood two bridges — the Sappers Bridge and the Dufferin Bridge. The Sappers Bridge was built in 1827, one of Ottawa’s first bridges, and was named so because it was constructed by the 15th Company of the Royal Sappers and Miners. It was joined by the Dufferin Bridge in the early 1870s, forming a triangle across the Rideau Canal.

At the start of the 20th century, a hole was created in Sappers Bridge in order to allow rail traffic to pass through and head onto a new station that was being built just east of the Rideau Canal. The entire area underwent extensive renovation during the early 1900s, which saw the construction of the Union Station as well as the Chateau Laurier hotel. As a result, rail traffic was re-routed under the bridge along the canal’s eastern side and onto the Royal Alexandra Interprovincial Bridge and towards Gatineau.

In 1912, both the Dufferin Bridge and the Sappers Bridge were demolished. The newly-created bridge was named Plaza Bridge because, in bringing together Wellington Street and Elgin Street on its west side to merge with Rideau Street on the east side, it created an interesting ‘Y’ shape, designed to be used as an open public space. The resulting triangular plaza was named Connaught Park, after Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, who held the post of Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916. Today, the location is known as Confederation Square and is the site of the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Plaza Bridge is constructed of three masonry spans: the western span goes over a roadway along the western bank of the Canal; the central span lies over the Canal; and the eastern span runs over the former railway tunnel along the east bank of the Canal. The Plaza Bridge lies just north of the Mackenzie King Bridge, making it the northernmost bridge over the canal and giving anyone crossing it a stunning view of the Parliament buildings, the Ottawa Canal, and the Chateau Laurier.

 

The newly-built Plaza Bridge in 1921. Source: The Contract Record, Vol. 26, No. 17, April 24, 1912.

The newly-built Plaza Bridge in 1921. Source: The Contract Record, Vol. 26, No. 17, April 24, 1912.

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