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December 18, 2014

Sabo reopens Friday until next repair phase

From the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County:

The Sabo bike and pedestrian bridge over Hiawatha Avenue will reopen early Friday morning, Aug. 24. Crews began the first phase of repair to the bridge earlier this week, and as that work wraps up, the bridge can reopen until the next phase of repairs begins.

A pair of support cables broke loose on the bridge last winter, and this week, crews installed one retrofitted diaphragm plate on the bridge, which crosses over Hiawatha Avenue in south Minneapolis. The repair to the plate will be monitored over the next month to see how it performs. Engineers will then plan and schedule repairs to the rest of the bridge’s diaphragm plates later this year.

One of the bridge’s diaphragm plates fractured in February, causing a pair of suspension cables to break loose. Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., an engineering firm hired to find the cause of the fracture, concluded in June that wind-induced cable vibrations caused fatigue cracking in the diaphragm plates resulting in two cable connections fracturing. The retrofitted plate installed this week is designed to withstand the fatigue that caused the cracking.

The retrofitted diaphragm plate connects one pair of cables on the Sabo Bridge. This particular pair is the third longest set of cables in the bridge design, and they are the longest cables currently attached to the bridge pylon.

To wrap up this week’s work, both directions of Hiawatha Avenue between East 26th Street and East 28th Street will close to traffic starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. The highway is scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m. Friday. Drivers will need to follow the posted detour routes.

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.