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.
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!