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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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)

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:

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Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

Golf Course Builders Association of America Awards Night at GIS 2016 – San Diego, CA

Golf Course Builders Association of America Awards Night in San Diego, CA.

The GCBAA (Golf Course Builders Association of America) reception is always one of the highlights of the Golf Show.  It is a great place to meet and mingle with some of the Golf Industry’s most prominent Architects and Designers as well as the most experienced and important golf course builder’s in the world.

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The Bridge Lady with Richard C. Haas, General Manager of Proscape Golf.

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Congratulations to James F. Moore, recipient of the 2016 Don A. Rossi Award given by GCBAA in Golf Industry Show 2016, San Diego CA

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Written by The Bridge Lady (Regina)

National Golf Course Owners Association – Reception – GIS 2016

The Links Bridges Team was honored to attend the NGCOA (National Golf Course Owners Association) reception at the beautiful OMNI Hotel in downtown San Diego.  It was a great time with many of the key people in the Golf Industry in attendance.

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The hard working team of NGCOA at Golf Industry Show 2016 in San Diego, CA

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The Bridge Lady of Links Bridges at NGCOA Reception, Golf Industry Show 2016 in San Diego, CA

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The Bridge Lady with Mike Woods, PGA Director of Golf; PGA Director of FootGolf and Vice President, Morton Golf. Sacramento CA

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Links Bridges CEO, Don Ferrar with long time friends Genevieve and Bill Brown, owners of Mont Cascades Golf Course in Cantley, Quebec. Bill Brown is a member of NGCOA Board.

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Great to meet Linda and Joseph Priddy. Joseph is the General Manager of Santa Maria Country Club, Santa Maria CA.

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