Balky Sabo bridge consultant same firm that consulted on I-35W bridge before it collapsed

Categories: Transportation
sabo bridge failure.jpg
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A cable support can be seen dangling from the Sabo bridge over the LRT tracks.
Perhaps San Francisco-based URS Corp. should just cease operations in the Twin Cities, because they've certainly had a bad run here during the past half-decade.

Late last night, a cable support above the Martin Olav Sabo bike and pedestrian bridge gave way and ended up slumping precariously over the Hiawatha LRT tracks, forcing the suspension of LRT service between 38th Street and Franklin Avenue until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Auto traffic along Hiawatha Avenue (Highway 55) is also being rerouted. 

URS consulted with Hennepin County when the Sabo bridge was designed, and also consulted on the I-35W bridge before it collapsed in 2007. In 2010, the company agreed to pay $52.4 million to settle the last major piece of litigation brought by victims of the collapse.

Fortunately, this bridge-fail isn't nearly as bad. Hiawatha Avenue and LRT service should be fully restored by mid-day tomorrow, though Mike Kennedy, transportation director for Minneapolis, told the Star Tribune "it's going to be some time" before the Sabo bridge reopens.

The Sabo bridge was last inspected in September. At that time, there didn't appear to be any problems with it, "so we are just as surprised as anybody" by the cable failure, Kennedy said.

Around 2 p.m. today, Metro Transit published the following statement on its website:
Metro Transit plans to extend replacement bus service through the rest of today (Monday, Feb. 20) and into the morning rush hour on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Replacement buses will operate between 38th Street and Franklin Avenue stations and will serve Lake Street Station. Metro Transit staff will be available at those stations to direct customers to replacement buses.
Please, local government entities, look elsewhere for engineering services next time around. Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me... let's hope Twin Citians don't end up getting fooled a third time by URS.

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10 comments
Dale
Dale

Dont just keep pointing the finger at the firm (URS) alone. Start asking questions like who work there? who is in charge of bridges in the local office?  where did they come from? how do they keep getting these contracts over and over when they keep producing low quality work?  you will be enlighten what you may find out..!

stitchsds
stitchsds

It's not you. The bridge is needlessly fancy.

Bobby
Bobby

URS is one of two engineering firms that proposed on the SouthWest LRT final design! Should we feel safe riding that!

aronamis
aronamis

Perhaps using the same consultants that design it as the ones that inspect it , leads to these failures . What company after they've taken the money want to admit there might be a flaw in the system they sold us. They knew the 35w bridge gusseet plates were not the right thickness since it was built . But crossed their fingers no one would ever notice .

HHH
HHH

Why not point the finger at RT Ryback - WTF? His administration is a fault. No problem in september but it falls apart a few months later. Tell RT he is full of $ht. Don't ever vote for that idiot again. A San Fran company....mmmmm bunch of idiots on the west coast who don't know about salt and subzero weather. Wonder when the rest of the city will suffer major infrastructure damage from lack of maintenance. Think RT!

Sparky
Sparky

Aaron, you're going to feel like a tremendous fool if the cause turns out to be ignored maintenance by a city council with misplaced priorities.....

Larry
Larry

Is it me or is this bridge needlessly fancy?  And did the extra fanciness cause the failure?  It seems like another case of Minneapolis spending money on things it shouldn't.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

 Ya, "the best"...This according  to the crack pot team of engineers that write for CP.Perhaps their worthless art degree took over their emotions and ended up spilling onto paper.

pizza
pizza

again kirk, settle settle! why all the hate?

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