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.

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.

 

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.

 

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)

The Golf Inc Strategies Summit

All about the The Golf Inc Strategies Summit 2016

The team at Links Bridges is pleased to be a part of this weekend’s Golf Inc Strategies Summit. The summit is located at the breathtaking Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. Regina, our very own Bridge Lady, has travelled all the way to Texas, with her camera and questions in hand as she records her meetings with many of the golf industries greatest influencers, aficionados and players.

 

Meeting New Friends

We were honored to meet with Marko Kaldoja from Pärnu Bay Golf Links who represents two golf courses and describes the Omni Barton Golf Course as “fantastic…with really great views” and is eager to “hear great ideas, share some knowledge and learn a thing or two that we can implement back home”. His courses have concrete bridges and is eager to meet with Regina to learn more about Links Bridges’ unique and sustainable fiberglass bridges.

 

Chris Karamitsos is from Tampa, Florida of Millichap National Golf Resort Properties Group. When asked why he is here he tells me his hope is to “meet with some industry professionals and tell them about what is going on with the golf transaction market”.

 

Lessons from the Keynote Speakers

On day two, we enjoyed the opening Keynote presentation about predicting Golf’s Future with Eric Affeldt, the CEO of ClubCorp, Dana Garmany, the CEO of Troon (who teaches us all the tricks of the trade when it comes to golf course management) Peter Hill, the Chairman & CEO of Billy Casper and Jim Hinckley, the CEO of American Golf (who knows the industry inside and out as a reputable executive in the course management and ownership industry).

Here are some of our favorite panelist insights and predictions that they presented when they were asked the burning question at this year’s Summit:  “What would you say is going to happen here in the next five years?”

  • The population playing golf will remain stable and people will have much easier access to golf courses and resorts with the varying technological advancements in the industry.
  • The consumer will have more and more choices on where to play golf, how to set up your tee times (online and offline) and the consumer can make decisions more last minute than in the past.
  • Food and Beverage services, special services are becoming more important to each course
  • It is changing from a mere athletic endeavor to an entire experience.
  • Initiations fees will remain low, as people are hesitant to spend a lot of money right now.
  • In the last six months, corporate travel has reached an all-time low, and this means there may be a decrease in corporate related golf travel in the near future.

With a schedule filled to the brim with inspirational speakers, educational sessions and networking events, we expect to learn. To stay up to date on our video blog updates from Regina, Like Us On Facebook. Learn more about the Golf Inc Strategies Summit online at http://www.golfincmagazine.com/strategies-summit/

 

Here are some photos from the summit:

img_0756 img_0755  14352069_1791158157833016_5036938371115827847_o 14362445_1791159927832839_6107033060271912721_o 14372418_1791159497832882_3839583747312855392_o14322633_1790690874546411_4938748186894254563_n

 

 

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The Woody Bridge
Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

5 Reasons to choose Links Bridges

Our bridges are designed and engineered to be made using only premium materials that out-perform the alternatives in terms of longevity, look and maintenance costs. Here are 5 reasons to choose Links Bridges:

Exceptional Design Assistance

Links Bridges offers everything from turn key assembly and installation approach to keep your project simple or complete involvement in every stage of the process, including conceptualization, design, budgeting, engineering, fabrication, delivery, on-site support and installation. Links Bridges is here to support you before, during and after your bridge.

style-expressway

Quality Assurance

Our bridges are engineered using only premium materials with a lifespan of 50-150 years and rust-free performance while meeting all applicable building code and safety standards. Our bridges last longer and work harder. Our experienced engineers use high-quality finishes to sustain the luxurious look and feel of your bridge.

 

Customized for Your Industry

Our bridges are customizable for the beautification and improved functionality of everything from residential properties to golf courses, construction sites, outdoor malls to park and trail bridges. Choose from enclosed or open, wood, stone, cast iron, metal or flagstone. Our innovative team can adapt any of our pre-made bridges to suit your specific industrial needs.

Melvins bridge

Affordable and Accessible

There are many variables which determine the amount of capital spending required to buy a bridge – primarily length, width, loading requirements and guard rail specifications. Beyond the initial capital outlay for the bridge, the other considerations are installation costs, annual maintenance costs and life-cycle replacement costs. Compared to any alternative which uses wood or steel, our bridges offer the lowest cost and best value when all these costs are factored in.

 

Sustainability

Every bridge we build is designed with the environment in mind. We maximize functionality and minimize environmental impact

Don’t forget to take a look at some of our past projects here.

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