Sabo Bridge cable-support worries date to 2006

  • Article by: MAYA RAO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 6, 2012 - 1:16 PM

Documents obtained by the Star Tribune questioned how well cable supports could withstand tension.

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alanam8Mar. 4, 1212:48 AM

There it is. If URS signed off on those plates, they're the responsible party. But you can bet that they're going to fight like mad to pin it on someone else. That 'someone else' could be a) Ames, for not installing the plates properly [good luck with that], or b) whoever manufactured the plates, ie did they make them to the required spec? Both of those are going to be long shots, though.

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taftjMar. 4, 12 3:20 AM

How can the city not sue the designer? We paid you to design a bridge for this climate and intended use, you presented us with the plan stating it was adequate for our needs, we purchased and constructed the bridge in good faith, and it failed while being put to its intended use...if the taxpayers have to pay for a new bridge, it would be a joke...oh, NEVER USE THIS DESIGN FIRM AGAIN!!!

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tcchrisMar. 4, 12 7:50 AM

This is a cautionary tail... if you want fancy cutting edge things you're going to pay for it when they fail. This is a pedestrian bridge and as far as I'm concerned they wasted tax dollars on it. It would have cost around $2M to build had they used a conventional design proven by years of real world service. Look at the countless man-hours that public has spent trying to get around this broken marvel and the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been spent since the first cable fell. Never mind the tax dollars that will be spent repairing this cutting edge design. I have used this bridge in the past and will use it again when it reopens but I personally feel that the area would have been better served by a pedestrian underpass.

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HendrayMar. 4, 12 7:57 AM

As an avid inline skater, I initially thought this bridge would be a nice enhancement to the best urban trail system in the country. I wondered how "we" could afford it, but learned that half the cost would be borne by the "Federal government." Okay ... I thought "they" were awash in deficits, but somehow this project got approval and funding, so ... go with it, I guess. It seemed like a relatively small item in the scheme of pork, earmarks, pc/green causes, so ... just relax and enjoy the new bridge. I DO live in this world, so I sighed and quickly forgot about it. But the first time I laid eyes on this "distinctive" structure, with all the arched cables everywhere, it seemed like arty design overkill for a bike/pedestrian bridge. I DO live in this world, so I sighed and moved on. Now this? The damn thing is falling apart?!? All I can do is shake my head, smirk at some of the ironic little twists here (Sabo, LRT), sigh and move on.

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no1caresMar. 4, 12 8:02 AM

posted by mjcmsp - Feb. 29, 12 - 10:14 AM + + "umm I am NOT insinuating that anybody did not look at the design. I am insinuating that the person that DID sign-off on the design might not be competent or may have been pressured into signing off." --- That is the whole point. The person 'signing off' on a design must, by law, be a competent professional engineer. + + + this is from the StarTrib article "More cracks in Sabo Bridge". The person/persons representing the City "signed off", stating the bridge design was sound and accepted it. How can the design firm be held accountable? The City has a share of responsibitly in this failure as well.

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jimmywestoneMar. 4, 12 8:15 AM

Wasn't URS the same firm that inspected the 35W bridge and said it was fine?

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indyvoterMar. 4, 12 8:22 AM

URS...involved with I35 Bridge failure as well. URS paid a $54.2 million settlement on that one. I assume this is the same "URS".

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eastsidetomMar. 4, 12 8:53 AM

***Hendray - the first time I laid eyes on this "distinctive" structure, with all the arched cables everywhere, it seemed like arty design overkill for a bike/pedestrian bridge.*** If the look of the thing was all that important, the same thing could have been accomplished with a conventionally built bridge and the addition of a large cable mast that would have had no structural function. This was a poor design for the start and lasting less than 5 years will be the stuff of the court system.

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njoytoyzMar. 4, 12 9:15 AM

Most inspectors are contractors that didn't make it.

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elsamackMar. 4, 12 9:17 AM

The "fancy design" of this bridge is actually functional. In order to build it in that location, the designers had to get the bridge around the LRT and its power lines, and they didn't have the option of building a support in the middle of Hiawatha Ave. It's a cool looking suspension bridge because it has to be. I hope it gets fixed soon.

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