Structural support of Sabo Bridge in place

City crews have completed installation of the support structures underneath the Sabo Bridge, where a suspension cable connection broke loose late Sunday evening, Feb. 19. Also, tension has been released from a second pair of cables that were also compromised. Crews plan on removing those compromised cables tomorrow, Feb. 24.  

Now that the tension from the compromised pair of cables is released, engineers will inspect the tension on the rest of the cables and the cable connections on the bridge’s pylon.  Inspectors are also measuring the loads on the shoring structures, deflections of the bridge deck and looking for any new visible signs of cracking, bowing, or frayed strands of bridge cable.

After all the necessary inspections are completed, the bridge recovery team, along with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Metro Transit, will determine when Hiawatha Avenue can reopen and light rail service can resume. The Sabo Bridge itself will remain closed until repair work is completed.

Because of safety concerns, traffic on Hiawatha Avenue will continue to be closed from 26th Street East to Lake Street. In addition, Metro Transit will continue to use buses to replace Light Rail trains serving Franklin Avenue, Lake Street/Midtown and the 38th Street stations.

Annual bridge inspections

The bridge is one of 373 inspected annually by the City of Minneapolis. The City’s licensed bridge inspectors examine and rate bridges using federal and state guidelines. Since its opening, the Sabo Bridge has undergone inspections every year with the most recent inspection taking place in September 2011. Those inspections did not find any problems with the bridge’s cable support system. 

The Sabo Bridge is a 215 foot-long cable-stayed suspension bridge that opened in November of 2007 to carry Midtown Greenway bicycles and pedestrians over Hiawatha Avenue. The bridge was built by Hennepin County and turned over to the City of Minneapolis when construction was completed.

The bridge, which carries bicycle and pedestrian traffic over Hiawatha Avenue, was closed early Monday morning after a cable connection broke on the bridge’s mast or pylon, causing a pair of suspension cables to break loose. The bridge design includes 18 cables on each side of the bridge, for a total of 36 cables.

Published Feb. 23, 2012