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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 email@example.com or by phone at 1.888.444.0277. We would be honoured to serve all your bridge needs.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 888-444-0277.
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 or call us at 888-444-0277.
Parks & Recreation Summit – Dallas, TX – April 13 to 15
Links Bridges will be one of the selected suppliers at the Parks & Recreation Summit in Dallas, TX from April 13 to 15. This is an event which brings together representatives of 50 major municipalities with 40 carefully selected vendors.
Vendors in attendance are chosen based on the purchasing needs of these key municipalities. It is a great opportunity to showcase new products for the very important municipal market.
Links Bridges is taking advantage of this opportunity to showcase some new bridge designs which have been developed with the unique needs of this key market segment. These municipalities each manage public golf courses and all kinds of different recreational park facilities – many of which need bridges.
Links Bridges will also be involved in some of the Summit forums dealing with the needs of municipalities and how vendors can position themselves to make greater contributions.
Chesapeake Hills Golf Club, Calvert County, MD
The Chesapeake Hills Golf Club in Calvert County, MD is this week taking delivery of a new bridge from Links Bridges’ Composite Series. They will have a 50’ bridge in the style of the bridge known as ‘The Timber’.
This is a simple but beautiful wood finish, flat bridge designed for pedestrian and golf cart traffic. As is typical of a Links Bridges installation, the bridge will be delivered and installed the same week and will likely be in full use by the weekend. Look for pictures to follow.
New Guard Rail Designs
Links Bridges has introduced a new Bridge Guard Rail design using a simple ‘post, rail and cable’ system. This is part of Links Bridges on-going innovation efforts to offer cost-effective, code-compliant guard rail options. Check out Links Bridges web site for news on new Guard Rail alternatives.