Skip to main content

Report: Wind to blame for Sabo Bridge failure

Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis released this press release Friday. In short, a preliminary report suggests that wind is to blame for the failure of two cable connections on the Martin Olav Sabo pedestrian and biking bridge in Minneapolis. The bridge was closed from Feb. 19 to June 1.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis released this press release Friday. In short, a preliminary report suggests that wind is to blame for the failure of two cable connections on the Martin Olav Sabo pedestrian and biking bridge in Minneapolis. The bridge was closed from Feb. 19 to June 1.

June 8, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) Minneapolis and Hennepin County Public Works staff this morning received a project summary from the engineering firm hired to investigate why the cable connections fractured. The full report with technical details and data will be available June 28; however the project summary provides the firm’s conclusions that wind-induced cable vibrations caused fatigue cracking in the diaphragm plates resulting in two cable connections fracturing.

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. is an engineering firm with specialized expertise in determining the cause of structural issues in bridges and designing appropriate repair solutions. The firm was hired specifically to investigate why the cable connections fractured and identify options for a permanent solution to repair the bridge.

The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have begun discussions with URS, the bridge designer about these findings. The City, County, Wiss, Janney, Elstner and URS continue to work cooperatively in a responsible manner to develop permanent retrofit solutions.

To receive a copy of the project summary or to arrange for an interview this afternoon (between 1 – 3 p.m.) with City, County and Wiss, Janney, Elstner staff, please contact Casper Hill at 612-432-5749.

The Sabo Bridge is a 215 foot-long cable-stayed suspension bridge that opened in November of 2007 to carry bicycles and pedestrians on the Midtown Greenway over Hiawatha Avenue and the Hiawatha Light Rail line. On Sunday, Feb. 19, pair of suspension cable connections fractured. The bridge was closed for further evaluation, support structures were put in place under a portion of the bridge deck, and other work was done. The bridge reopened to bike and pedestrian traffic on June 1, after engineers determined the bridge could safely be reopened before permanent repairs are made. The bridge’s redundant design performed as expected to support the bridge when the pair of cables broke loose.

Next Up

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.

IMG_5455

Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.

drought

It was the driest September in Twin Cities modern history

Less than a quarter inch of rain fell in September.

Jay James Olson

Sauk Rapids man pleads guilty to making, selling ghost guns

The 21-year-old would sell unserialized guns, silencers, auto-sears, and high-capacity magazines.

Pixabay - gray squirrel

Squirrel blamed for Friday power outage impacting over 5,000 homes

There's no telling when or where the squirrels will strike next.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 8.11.55 AM

Seattle man federally indicted in massive Bloomington fentanyl bust

The case is believed to represent the largest fentanyl bust in the Midwest.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 9.27.53 AM

Nicollet Diner to launch new, expanded home with a drag show

The new location will still feature the diner's classic offerings, as well as a new cabaret venue and cocktail lounge.

police tape, crime scene

Woman found dead at Minneapolis home was stabbed multiple times

LaTiffany Altanette Lessley was found dead in a north Minneapolis home Tuesday.

Related

Sabo Bridge could reopen by June

Officials say that Minneapolis is striving to reopen the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge by June 4, the Star Tribune reports. The bicycle and pedestrian span over Hiawatha Avenue has been closed for three months, after the fracture of a steel anchor led the bridge’s tallest set of cables to fall from the mast on Feb 19.

Sabo bridge reopens to bikes, pedestrians

The Sabo bridge, which was closed after a pair of support cables broke in February, is reopening Friday afternoon to foot and bike traffic. Structural support was added underneath the bridge deck. Minneapolis is awaiting a report on what caused the cables to break loose.

Sabo bridge closure costs more than $1.1M

Officials with the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County and the Met Council told Minnesota Public Radio the cost to shutdown and repair the pedestrian and bicycle crossing topped $1.1 million. The Sabo Bridge was closed for three-and-a-half months after two of the bridge's supporting cables came loose in February. A report released in June blames the failure on wind vibrations.

Sabo bridge plates had 'poor fatigue resistance'

Cable diaphragm plates that cracked on the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge, leading officials to shut down the span for months this year, had "welded details that offer poor fatigue resistance," according to a 140-page report released Friday by the city of Minneapolis.

Sabo reopens Friday until next repair phase

Workers installed a retrofitted diaphragm plate on the Sabo pedestrian bridge this week and the bridge reopened Friday morning, at least until more repairs are done to finish the project. Engineers will then plan and schedule repairs to the rest of the bridge’s diaphragm plates later this year.

Consultant: Vibrations may have caused bridge failure

An expert who says he has inspected over 1,000 bridges tells Fox 9 that vibrations may have caused the cable to snap on a pedestrian bridge spanning Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. He says a design flaw could be to blame.

Minneapolis considers re-opening Sabo bridge during repairs

Crews are still working to stabilize the bike and pedestrian bridge and investigators are studying why a cable that supported the deck broke in February. But Minneapolis would like to reopen the span and hopes to find out soon if that would be safe.