MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Engineers found no sign of trouble during their last inspection of a pedestrian bridge in Minneapolis where a suspension cable broke loose Sunday night.

Mike Kennedy, director of transportation, maintenance and repair for Minneapolis Public Works, said the inspection in September turned up no problems with the 18 sets of cable that support the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.

The bridge remains closed Tuesday and officials continue to detour the traffic underneath on busy Hiawatha Avenue.

The Hiawatha Light Rail line also remains closed between three nearby stations. Metro Transit is using buses to shuttle rail passengers around it, and says that added about 15 minutes to passengers’ morning commutes.

Kennedy says it’s too soon to say when Hiawatha Avenue, the bridge and the light-rail stops will reopen.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (31)
  1. Ace says:

    Something smells bad. Now those cyclists will have to cross the street with the light, I hope they don’t try to run the red lights on Hiawatha like they do on other streets. Bridges shouldn’t fall down or break and this points to something wrong in the process.

  2. Swamp Fox says:

    Visual bridge engineering inspections may not show inherent design flaws or weaknesses that may occur over time. In this particular case, since this bridge is relatively new and young, I suspect there are design vs usage issues vs environment that need to be investigated forthwith.

    Fix the bridge temporarily to get it back in use so as not to disrupt the light rail and all. Meanwhile, treat the bridge as a disaster going to happen and investigate “why” the cables broke free. Again, treat the situation as happening again with worse results. A permanent fix is needed and delaying whatever outcome might make things tragically worse.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      The problem being that it doesn’t seem like they have identified anything to fix. They’re basically saying the bridge is fine, even though a support cable snapped, right? So maybe the problem is with the cable being defective, and not with the structural integrity of the bridge or with an inherent design flaw that will lead to a catastrophic failure…

  3. James says:

    Waste of time, waste of money. We don’t need a pedestrian bridge in the first place. If you really need to cross the road, get in a car and drive. If that’s not good enough, then make it a toll bridge and charge every last pedestrian who uses it until it has recovered its cost.

    I heard the number $6 million thrown out there. That’s $547 per day for 30 years. If you have 20 people per day use the bridge, the break even fee should be around $30 bucks per one-way trip.

    If you can’t do that, tear the damn thing down.

    1. Swamp Fox says:

      We all can’t drive or have gas guzzlers like you. A pedestrian bridge and nearby LRT station go hand-in-hand. Besides wouldn’t you rather have pedestrians and cyclists crossing the highway via bridge than have them crossing by traffic lights that you maybe running through?

      One of these days the less affluent pedestrian crossing this bridge may be you. Will you pay $30 to use it? I should think not since you are a ‘great’ MN taxpayer who helped pay for this structure and values his money. James there are Minnesotans that need that bridge. Think about that!!!

      1. James says:

        Actually swamp, i’d rather pedestrians and cyclists get on their well funded mass transit systems or stay at home. Instead, they seem to insist on a big nasty bridge to nowhere.

        You assume I’m affluent. You assume i have a big gas guzzler. You assume i’ve never ridden a bike. Instead, I’d suggest to you that I’m smarter than to demand subsidized nonsense from a collective with no interests in serving my own personal goals and needs. You also assume that by building a bridge, we can all feel some collective gratification for helping out the poor, when the reality is that the poor don’t give a damn about a stupid bridge. Rich people care about a stupid bridge, because it makes them feel good. It provides a form of satisfaction. It makes their town look good. It keeps the poor off the street and away from the cars. It gives the bike riders a way to pedal all over the place so they feel good about themselves. It does all these things, and you’re exactly right, people like you need that bridge. People like me know better and we know we don’t need or want that failure of a bridge. … but that’s not good enough for you. You don’t want the affluent to get away scott free, you want them to pay. ahah! a bridge, let’s make a bridge! Finally for once, those affluent people will be forced to think about others instead of themselves…

        And then i’ll reiterate what I said… the poor don’t give a damn about a bridge.

        Think about that. And since I don’t know your real name, I’ll just call you Sally.

        1. Swamp Fox says:

          “Sally” is the hobo street name for the Salvation Army! Thanks for the compliment.

          Hope you see the light of progress and enlightenment for the future. Your bitterness toward life or whatever is apparent. I didn’t say you were affluent or owned a spiffy ‘gas guzzler” but I did say, from your alluding to such, that we all couldn’t drives or consume gas like you. With that said, this issue at hand still exists–a faulty bridge.

          In this of modern technology and engineering we can’t build a bridge that meets the demands placed upon it? Or, we can’t build a needed bridge that isn’t going to snap apart in a few years? Hundreds of people use this bridge daily are you not concerned about their safety? Are you more concerned over some ersatz arguments over class delineations or class economics than the problem at hand?

          Your bitterness is showing and it is making your arguments untenable to this situation. A bridge is falling apart for some reason–WHY???

          1. common sense says:

            Shut up! People like you make the rest of us sick!

            1. Swamp Fox says:

              @Common sense
              Easy Hoss, I am just trying to be civil on a thread where civility seems nonsensical to some. As I stated before; “A bridge is falling apart for some reason–WHY???” Doesn’t that mean anything to you than expressing anger over some folks who love being trolls or impractical arbitrators on these threads?

              A bridge, a fairly new one, is falling apart–WHY???

              1. common sense says:

                Go back up a few posts and read yours again… Bicycles are a big pain and their riders create the majority of the problems they encounter. I agree something is wrong with a newer bridge few use…

                1. Swamp Fox says:

                  @common sense
                  Last time. A bridge is falling apart–WHY??? My question goes beyond use and politics. It’s about design and engineering! The bridge has been constructed and supposedly designed to last a long time. Why is it falling apart? That’s what we all should be looking at!! Not about present use demographics or politics.

                2. jackactionhero says:

                  Bicycles aren’t going to be banned from use, so giving them a safe place to get to their destination is the only viable alternative.

                  Simply hating them and not accomodating them is not a solution here.

  4. 21Dort says:

    James that sounds like as good a plan as any. When I look at this bridge at nite when driving thru that area – I think this looks like a waste of my TAX Pay Dollars – the purple lites shining on it etc . Just like so many government projects that we don’t really need.

    1. Swamp Fox says:

      Who says we don’t need it for public safety and access?

      1. Grynch says:

        Liberals need this bridge to fulfill their political agenda of wanting MN to be the most bike friendly state in the nation and spending money on public works projects that only create temporary jobs for people who build faulty bridges.

        1. jackactionhero says:


          What about avid cyclists?

  5. maxey says:

    Fitting that this unnecessary public expenditure is named for MOS, who loved a good spend. Also fitting that his namesake bridge has a couple of cables loose.

  6. luvs says:

    Light rail/metro transit has permanently lost customers from this. Here comes the rate hike.

  7. thinice says:

    Ignorance in car. We do need that bridge because if we try to cross Hiawatha you fools in your stinky cars will probably try to run us down. Get out of your super polluters and ride a bike or walk. It may help you work off your hostility and hate that so readily display behind the wheel.

    1. maxey says:

      A good deal of the hostility is because of people like you, who can’t spring for a tank of gas, and instead weave in and out of traffic on a bike, ignoring all traffic laws and inviting an accident.

    2. John Frykman says:

      OK. How about the bicyclists pay for their own damned bridge to nowhere. Put a toll booth at each end. Maybe in a few hundred years it will be paid for. Oops, I forgot. It’s already falling down. Ignorance on a bike.

    3. jackactionhero says:

      How rude and juvenile you are. Grow up, Jimmy.

  8. politicianssux says:

    same inspectors as the 35W brindge?

  9. John Frykman says:

    At this point, probably the most cost-effective solution is to tear this totally unnecessary bridge down before it falls down. Another $5.1 million dollars thanks to Martin Sabo’s earmarking money so other states can pay for our “bridge to nowhere.” Let the bicyclists walk their bikes across Hiawatha like they did before the bridge was built. No one will be any worse off. Better than spending more money on what will likely be another money pit for Minneapolis, just like Target Arena. They should give that white elephant back to Glen Taylor and let him figure out where to get the money to “update” it.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      There is no such place as “Target Arena.”

  10. bridge says:

    It should not cost too much to fix it. Maybe a few thousands, but no more than that.

  11. affluent bike commuter says:

    James, where do you get the idea that pedestrian bridges are for poor people? Thousands of people use that bridge every day to commute to their jobs – so they can pay taxes the pay for the roads your car drives, as well as bike lanes and pedestrian bridges.

    1. James says:

      I’d actually like to see a count of the people who use that bridge daily.

      Because I’d like to charge them a toll. Seems like they are neither poor, nor out of a job, so this is a win-win situation around the clock!

      But in REALITY, almost nobody uses the damn bridge. And this just shows that without the bridge, people still make it to work. The world still spins, and life goes on… that is to say unless 1000 people were somehow stranded on hiawatha today because they couldn’t cross the bridge.

      You know, this issue is seated deep in my heart. I grew up hearing about these three bill goats who wanted to cross the busy road to go up the hill to make themselves fat… but the troll who owned the bridge, paid for the bridge, and maintained the bridge wouldn’t let the disrespectful billy goats cross the bridge. In the end, the billy goats hired a big union boss billy goat named Gruff. Gruff showed up and killed the troll. Then the hiawatha bridge fell into utter disrepair and the poor little billy goats couldn’t get to the other side to make themselves FAT. I guess they all had to WALK to work.

      And that’s where we stand today. Enjoy your stupid bridge. 🙂

      1. common sense says:

        Sorry to say, James, but that would never happen. R.T. Rybike is shoving the bicycle thing down our throats, regardless of the consequences (or weather). This is not Porkland Sheattle…we get snow here! The weather nor the infrastructure makes this a good situation for either side of the fence. Too bad the “bike people” seem to have their own agenda and idea about ” SHARING THE ROAD”!

  12. Rough Rider says:

    How do you, or anyone else know how many customers have been lost until light rail is back in use??

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