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Sabo bridge could reopen to bike traffic before analysis is done

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The city of Minneapolis is studying the possibility of opening the Sabo bridge to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  Public Works director Steve Kotke updated a city council committee this morning:

"Now that we've stabilized the bridge and are well under way as far as investigating what happened and what the fix is, the next question that has come up is, 'Can we get the bridge back open for bicycles and pedestrians?' So we have been investigating that.  The initial structural analysis has been completed and what it's indicating right now is that we are going to have to make some adjustments to the shoring and what's referred to as de-stressing the back-stay cables.  We have that information now, so we are processing it and trying to determine what will be the cost of doing that as well as the timeframe.  We're going to continue working on that, I'll be back in two weeks and give you an update and hopefully we'll have some good information at that point to figure out when we'd be able to open up the bridge to bicycles and pedestrians."

The city closed the bridge earlier this year, after a pair of cables fell when the plate holding them to the top of a bridge support failed.  Kotke says researchers at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania are still analyzing the broken plate and another plate that was also significantly damaged.  He says the results of the study should be available by the end of next month.

(MPR Photo/Matt Sepic)