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.

 

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)

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Focus: Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is, undeniably, one of the best known bridges in the world. Spanning the Golden Gate Strait, a channel that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, it has been named one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. This is really no surprise, as the Golden Gate Bridge has now become a globally recognized symbol for San Francisco and the state of California and is a must-see for tourists.

Prior to the bridge being built, the shortest and most practical way to cross the Golden Gate Strait was by boat. As a result, a ferry service was started, which ran from as early as 1820. However, many wanted to build a bridge to connect San Francisco to Marin County. As the city of San Francisco was still largely serviced by boats and ferries, its connection to other cities around the bay was hampered and, as such, its growth was slower than other large American cities of the time.

A bridge proposal was put forth in 1916 by James Wilkins, a former engineering student. However, the city’s chief engineer valued the design at $100 million, which was drastically impractical at the time. A call was put out to bridge engineers to see if it could be done in a more cost-effective manner. Joseph Strauss, an ambitious structural engineer, responded and drew up an initial design, which he said could be completed at the more moderate cost of $17 million. The project was approved by local authorities, provided that the inexperienced Strauss would accept advice from several consulting project experts. A suspension bridge design was chosen as the most practical, due to recent advances in metallurgy.

The project faced opposition from many angles; there were concerns the bridge would interfere with ship traffic, or that it would provide major competition to the existing ferry service. However, there were also allies, such as the ever-growing automobile industry, which encouraged the construction of roads and bridges to increase the need for cars. Despite opposition and funding issues, construction eventually began in 1933 and was completed in 1937, ahead of time and $1.3 million under budget. At 4200 feet long, the Golden Gate Bridge remained the longest suspension bridge in the world for almost thirty years, until 1964 when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City was completed.

Though Strauss was the chief engineer of the project and was in charge of the overall design and construction, his lack of experience in cable-suspension designs meant that other experts in engineering and architecture were called in. The final structural suspension design can be attributed to Leon Moisseiff, the architect of the Manhattan Bridge, who introduced his “deflection theory” to reduce stress on the bridge towers by allowing the roadway to flex in the wind. An unknown residential architect called Irving Morrow designed the the shape of the bridge towers, the lighting, and other elements, while the principal engineer was Charles Alton Ellis, who did much of the technical and theoretical work that built the bridge, but received none of the credit in his lifetime. Strauss, wanting to take all of the credit, greatly downplayed the contributions of his collaborators and it wasn’t until much later that the contributions of the others on the design team were properly recognized.

Keep checking back to our blog for many more bridge features! Do you have a favourite bridge in the world? Please post your thoughts or photos in the comments below. If you are looking for help to design and install a bridge on your property, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team today.

Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Bridge Focus: Brooklyn Bridge

Bridges in the News – Brooklyn Bridge

There are more than 2,000 bridges in and around New York City. Some, of course, are better known — and more expensive — than others.

Brooklyn Bridge: The Eighth Wonder of the World

When the Brooklyn Bridge opened in May of 1883, it was an engineering achievement dubbed “The Eighth Wonder of the World,”.

The notorious and corrupt Boss Tweed — the man who opposed the creation of the early pneumatic subway system — loved the idea of a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn, which were still two different cities back then. In fact, he was so interested that he racked up $65,000 of bribes to get the $1.5 million of bonds issued to back the massive undertaking.

 

pic_giant_052915_SM_Brooklyn-Bridge-DT

 

Of course, Tweed wasn’t just involved in the project out of the goodness of his heart — he wanted to skim some money off the top, like he usually did with public works projects. Construction began in 1869, but Tweed was arrested in 1871 — though his devious plans seemed almost a harbinger of bad things to come.

In the course of construction, somewhere between 20 and 30 men died, including the bridge’s designer, John Roebling. After his foot got crushed between pilings and a boat, the German engineer had some toes amputated and later died of tetanus before construction even began. His 32-year-old son took over the job, but later became partially paralyzed from a bad case of the bends — acquired during the dangerous pressurized construction process — and had to let his wife oversee the rest of the construction.

bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, shown here in 2016, claimed between 20 and 30 lives during the construction process in the 1800s.

It was the world’s longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1883, and there was a parade with an hour-long fireworks display to celebrate. Though it’s free today, the Brooklyn Bridge originally cost a penny to cross by foot, a nickel by horse and a dime by wagon.