Sabo Is Back With Some Brand New Additions – Update

Please forgive the Vanilla Ice lyrics in the post title, but that was too good to pass up right?  Ok, so everyone at this point knows that the Sabo Bridge is back in operation thanks to some additional supports, but just in case you haven’t ridden over it yet, there are some additions that you might want to know about.

1) Barriers  –

On both sides of the bridge sit three concrete “planters” with large reflective triangles.  They are evenly spaced and allow enough room for one cyclist wide to fit through at a time.  If we take a moment to think through this, we have to imagine that the bridge is currently in a slightly weakened state (due to the missing wires) and therefore cannot handle the weight of emergency vehicles (as it was originally intended).  Based on this the barriers make sense, allow pedestrians, cyclists and in-line skaters to pass while keeping vehicles out.  But consider this; during the busiest times of the day, this bridge sees literally hundreds of cyclists per hour, and they all have to pass through this gauntlet.  While going uphill and entering the bridge isn’t too much trouble, people can really get going pretty fast when exiting the bridge.  Couple this with the fact that several group rides per day use to bridge to get to different destinations, and we are potentially talking about a bit of a bottle neck, with riders slowing down and cueing up to get through the barriers.  Admittedly, this is not a huge deal and very much preferable to not having the bridge open, however, please remember no need to try to break the land speed record descending from the bridge, just take your time and be considerate of other riders and walkers.

UPDATE – As of Tuesday 6/18 the barriers have been removed from both sides of the bridge.  We haven’t seen an explanation for this yet but whatever the reason, the results are right.  Happy riding. 


2) One Less Exit.

Before the great wire debacle of 2012 riders had the option of turning just before the bridge incline on the west side of Hiawatha and heading under the bridge down to the intersection, but no more.  We believe that due to the construction equipment currently residing on the path under the bridge, this exit is still blocked off by fences.  While is has been a convenience, this isn’t really a big deal.

3) Speaking of Cables….

The third and final addition to the re-opened Sabo, the old cable… Those of you who have ridden over the bridge in the week or so that it has been re-opened may have noticed the big long white plastic bag attached at the ground level on the south side of the bridge.  Upon close inspection it appears to be the formerly suspending suspension cable.  We guess that until it is repaired and re-suspended this is as good a place as any to store it, that way the city can be sure they don’t mis-place it.  Anyone else wonder how much that thing weighs?

That’s it, other than to say that we are so happy it is back in our daily commute, may we never cross Highway 55 at ground level again!

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4 Responses to Sabo Is Back With Some Brand New Additions – Update

  1. Reuben says:

    Yikes, those planters look dangerous. I can easily see some cyclist in the middle of the night without a headlamp riding directly into one of them… Hope that doesn’t happen.

    • hokan says:

      Last week I saw a rider crash into one of the planters in the middle of the day! Hard to blame the planter in that case…

  2. Judy says:

    Those planters are a real hazard to bikes pulling trailers. One could easily snag a trailer wheel while maneuvering through the narrow openings, with disastrous consequences to the kids in the trailer. Isn’t there a better, safer way to keep vehicles off the bridge? Come on!

  3. crossn81 says:

    The barriers are back up today. All 3 of them are on the path but one is right behind the other so there are only two actually blocking anything. I feel like they are on the line between the bike lanes and the line between the bike lane and the walking lane.

    Also, new rock barriers were installed at the exit from the Greenway into Brackett park. There was a nice worn path that made the turn from the exit ramp on the sidewalk doable without slowing down too much. Now you have to make a 90 degree turn at the stop sign. Bummers.

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