Breathtaking Bike Infrastructure: Minnesota’s Martin Olav Sabo Bridge

Martin Olav Sabo Bridge (Minneapolis) from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

by Clarence Eckerson, Jr. on August 11, 2011

In 2007, in order to route cyclists away from a challenging 7-lane crossing on busy Hiawatha Avenue, Minneapolis built the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.

The first cable-stayed bridge of any kind in the state, it’s breathtaking, even to the people who have been riding it for years. It provides a safe, continuous crossing and offers up a glorious view of the downtown skyline (especially at sunset!). The sleek Hiawatha light rail line runs beneath it, and there are benches to sit on and take everything in.

Used by an average of 2,500 riders a day, peak use can hit 5,000 to 6,000 per day on some gorgeous summer weekends, according to Shaun Murphy of the Minneapolis Department of Public Works.

The bridge was named in honor of Minneapolis' Martin Olav Sabo, a former U.S. Representative from the 5th District who helped secure much of the $5 million needed to build it. Thanks to the Bikes Belong Foundation for enabling us to feature this majestic piece of bike architecture and to show that investing is cycling and walking is well worth every penny for our communities.


  1. I've ridden this - moved to C-Bus from the Twin Cities - and it is every bit as nice as it looks. Even cooler is the bike trail immediately to its west. That "greenway" follows a old railway bed through the heart of South Minneapolis, and because the bed is below street level, they were able to create a nearly uninterrupted cycle route for several miles.


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