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Sabo bike, pedestrian bridge repairs mean commuter headaches

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Sabo bridge repairs
Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland says that light rail passengers on the Hiawatha Light Rail line are being placed on commuter buses to detour around the Sabo bike and pedestrian bridge while it is repaired.
MPR Photo/Matt Sepic

Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis remains closed between 26th and Lake streets, after a cable support broke loose, compromising a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the highway late Sunday.

Light rail tracks running under the bridge are also closed, and buses are ferrying light rail passengers between the 38th St. and Franklin Avenue stations. The Martin Olav Sabo Bridge itself is also closed.

"There are just too many unknowns at the bridge. We have too much to consider and look at, and we need to be absolutely sure of public safety before we can open the bridge," Mike Kennedy, director of transportation, maintenance and repair for Minneapolis Public Works told MPR News Tuesday morning. 

Workers are building a series of supports under the bridge that will relieve the pressure on its remaining cables, Kennedy said, adding that reinforcing the bridge will take time.

The bridge has been closed since Sunday night after a cable support broke loose and caused a pair of cables anchored on the east side of the bridge to fail. City officials said they have not yet determined how the cable support broke loose. 

Metro Transit has suspended light-rail service between 38th Street and Franklin Avenue stations. Passengers are being rerouted onto buses to get around the area near the bridge. The rerouting has caused delays of 15 to 20 minutes for Tuesday morning commuters, a Metro Transit spokesperson said. 

  The bridge, a 2,200 foot-long suspension span, carries bicycles and pedestrians over Hiawatha Avenue. It opened in November 2007.