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Thursday November 23rd 2017

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A Bridge over Hiawatha Ave?

1280px-Martin_Olav_Sabo_Bridge_at_SunsetBY HARVEY WINJE

Build a bridge over Hiawatha Avenue for Greenway traffic? Impossible!

Challenges: the space between the LRT wires and power lines are too short for bridge beams and there is no space beneath for bridge columns between highway lanes. The passageway is too high for an accessible ramp.

Mission accomplished! Elongated ramps were designed within the land limits and the roadbed was supported by cables instead of typical hefty columns.

Appropriateness of this bridge being named after Martin Olav Sabo:

Sabo’s astuteness knowing when and how to “pull strings”

Sabo’s ability to appreciate the importance of compromise.

Sabo’s civility that embellished negotiating.

Sabo’s savvy to seek expert advice on details.

Sabo’s compassion for the people he represented and their causes.

Sabo’s patience, diligence, and ingenuity that enhanced the stature of social justice causes and the reputations of his constituents.

Ironically, Sabo Bridge critics call it an expensive, excessively extravagant design favoring aesthetics for an icon on the road from the airport to downtown.

In actuality, it has become an icon of design stemming from practical solutions to inherent problems with the location. The bridge is now identified by the name of a man who sought practical solutions to basic problems and issues of his constituents with the expertise to coalesce support and funding.

Results: it does provide a safer alternative to crossing Hiawatha Avenue and secondarily provides an attractive design emblematic of its namesake and the process that brought it forth.

 

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