Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Opening soon: Midtown Greenway bridge

The 2,200 Midtown Greenway bridge in Minneapolis is scheduled to open in November. That's perfect timing for those tough winter bicyclists to zoom across Hiawatha Avenue in sub-freezing temps. (Chances are, I won't be among them.) The $5.1 million bridge is the state's first cable-stay bridge, which means that the cables you see in this photo ...

... are what keeps the bridge erect. At least that's what I think it means. Here's how the St. Paul Pioneer Press explained it this morning: "In cable-stayed bridges, the cables are attached to a pylon, which bears the load. Engineers chose the design because of unique obstacles at the site, including the Hiawatha light-rail line and high-power transmission lines on the east side."

Another cool feature of the new bridge is that lights will be "
built into the horizontal wire fencing," thereby eliminating the need for lampposts. The angled beam that juts into the sky and the dozens of cables give the whole thing a slight Santiago Calatrava feel. He's the architect behind the Milwaukee Art Museum addition, several Spanish projects and a spiral skyscraper condo project in Chicago (not yet completed).

What do you think of the new bridge? How has construction affected your commute?

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