Repairs will start next week on the Martin Olav Sabo bridge, six months after cables broke loose on the bicycle and pedestrian span over Hiawatha Avenue, closing that busy Minneapolis road Sunday.
The city announced on Thursday that engineers will install a retrofitted diaphragm plate, which connects cables to the mast. Workers will monitor that repair over the next month to gauge its performance, officials said, and then schedule repairs to the rest of the plates.
The fixes come in response to the discovery last winter that cracked plates led the longest and tallest set of cables on the bridge to break away and compromised a second set of cables below. The consulting firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates concluded in June after a months-long investigation that wind-induced cable vibrations had caused the fractures.
The city said the span will be closed to bike and pedestrian traffic starting at 7 a.m. Sunday for about a week. Both directions of traffic on Hiawatha Avenue between E. 26th Street and 28th Street will be blocked off from 7 a.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday, although it might reopen earlier.
Also this weekend, construction work on the Central Corridor light-rail line will shut down several Hiawatha line stations from 5:30 p.m. Saturday until 3:30 a.m. Monday. Route 55 buses will fill the service gap.
The stations closing are: Target Field, Warehouse District/Hennepin Avenue, Nicollet Mall, Government Plaza, Downtown East/Metrodome and Cedar-Riverside. Crews will be working east of the Metrodome, where the Central Corridor and Hiawatha lines will meet.
MAYA RAYO AND PAUL WALSH