Hiawatha Headaches Continue For 3rd Day

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the third day now, commuters in south Minneapolis are coping with the extra headache of getting around a closed section of Hiawatha Avenue.

The Hiawatha light rail line is also not running in that part of town because of a closed pedestrian bridge.

Officials say they continue to work to secure the bridge and have installed two sets of the four support structures that need to be put in place.

They estimate the remaining supports will be in place in the next day or two. Once all four are ready, they say they can begin work to release the tension from a second set of cables that were also compromised.

Rail service remains suspended at three stations around the Martin Olav Sabo pedestrian bridge, where a cable snapped Sunday.

Minneapolis city engineers are now working with the bridge’s original designers to come up with the best plans for repair.

Metro Transit has added additional bus routes to help reduce some of the stress this is causing.

Replacement bus service is available at all three stations affected along the Hiawatha light rail line.

The buses will continue until further notice, but commuters are advised to continue expecting delays.

A release from the city of Minneapolis states, “City and County bridge and engineering staff, in collaboration with Mn/DOT and Metro Transit, will determine when the bridge is stabilized enough to reopen Hiawatha Avenue to traffic and the Hiawatha Light Rail line. The Sabo Bridge itself will remain closed until repair work is completed.”

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  • Tom Truth

    It’s a good thing we have buses which can be rerouted around problems.

    They are also more scalable and are cheaper.

    Why again do we have light rail?

    • Zzzzzzzzzzz.....

      We have light rail because believe it or not, we’re not a bunch of back 40 farmers here in the metro. We’re a major metropolitan area, and the last holdout in the nation for having some kind of rail service for public transportation in (I repeat) a MAJOR metropolitan area.

      • Citizen Kane

        We have light rail because of union kickbacks.

        Pull your head out of that dark place.

    • Ace

      You make good sense, Tom. I have another question: Why did they use the same design company that designed the bridge that fell? Why did they want a bridge that tries to look like the Golden Gate in San Francisco when another less expensive, functional design would work? Who are they trying to impress? Why have a bridge in the first place when it’s purpose is only so bicyclists won’t be inconvenienced by having to wait for a green light to cross the street? Our tax dollars at work!!!

      • Grynch

        It’s liberals at work is what it is. Though in debt, they still tend to spend money on public works projects with incentives like “making Minnesota the most bike friendly state in the nation” and creating temporary jobs for guys that build and then soon afterwards fix poorly built bridges.

  • luvs

    Put some bracing up while you “think about what to do” fools. This adds 25 minutes to commutes on the light rail.

  • Questions unanswered

    I think the inspectors have some explaining to do. Did they really do an inspection or assume the cables/bolts were good since the bridge was only a few years old. There is major corrosion on the bolts but they are telling you about the cables (deleting pictures of the bolts is covering it up). Sounds like the I-35 bridge.

  • aronamis

    What is taking them so long to “inspect it” . This should have been the companies priority when one of their bridges fails . They should not wait to get started at their own pace .

  • Sonjay

    IF the mob-like bus company hadn’t DESTROYED the streetcar system they are now trying to reintroduce we wouldn’t have half of our current transit problems. The buses essentially shuttle the ghetto folks around the city 90% of an average day so they can hang with their fellow Hoodrats downtown. MULTIPLE times I’ve seen ghetto people get on and try not to pay the ridiculously small fare then scream and shout about how “they iz being dizrespected” if forced to pay.

    • Grynch

      You’re right about the grimy little low life’s not having fair and yelling at bus drivers but you obviously haven’t taken busses like the 261 from downtown Minneapolis to Roseville, nothing but clean cut working class people, in fact, they trust you to pay fair after the bus ride because it gets people on the bus faster and guess what, everybody pays their fare.

      You’re only half right. You’d be surprised at how many successful model citizens rely on public transportation.

    • BAnti

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  • Guy

    Just get a couple of BIG roles of DUCT TAPE.

    That will fix ANYTHING.

    • kate

      Don’t forget your hot-glue gun and toothpicks.

      • Grynch

        A union workers favorite tools.

        • Jimmy

          I thought Mark Dayton was a union worker’s favorite tool.

  • Rich Grenda

    No sense arguing with the anti-rail folks. They live in a fantasy world. Do you really think that fossil fuels will be around forever? The safest thing to do when confronted by a train hater is to back away slowly.

  • Bobby

    Another bridge inspected and designed by URS Corp. The same company that inspected and made recomendation on the 35W bridge before it collapsed. They are also trying to win the design of the Southwest LRT transit project.

  • do do

    The city charges the URS corp. a FEE for building and inspecting, they (URS) must pay this $$$$ to mpls for the coastly inspection that the city must do…. onlly thing is, the city just takes the $$$$ and doesn’t really inspect notten….that is why the bridge fell , the city inspectors did not do there job. but know one will tell u that, it’s a secret….

    • Bobby

      It was URS inspectors that inspected the bridge in September. The even flew in a expert for suspension bridges from Florida. The city paid URS to design and inspect the bridge. If URS paid the city that would be bribery.

  • AlanB


    While you’re correct that buses can be rerouted, you’ve got the rest wrong.

    Trains are scalable to. Low demand, you uncouple cars and run shorter trains. Higher demand and you couple more cars together. And that’s one of the best features of light rail, as you still only need one employee to operate the train, unlike those buses.

    And that last fact leads us to your second error, that buses are cheaper. Sadly that is not correct. According to data from the National Transit Database it costs Metro $3.59 for an average ride on a bus and only $2.46 for the average ride on light rail.

    After deducting what the rider pays, that works out to a taxpayer cost of $2.48 per ride on a bus and only $1.47 per ride on light rail. The cost to taxpayers per passenger mile is 55 cents for the bus and 28 cents for light rail.

    Light rail moved 55.3 million passenger miles last year at a taxpayer cost of $15.4 Million. If light rail didn’t exist, it would have cost Metro $30.4 Million to move those people by bus.

    Did you want the bill for the difference? Because I sure don’t want a bill for an extra $15 Million to get the job done.

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