What's Broken

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November 1, 2004 // UPDATED 4:34 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Brian Voerding
Brian Voerding

Pole position

There are myriad dented orange construction cones every 38 or so paces around the sidewalk perimeter of Block E. They stand like stout, stoic infantrymen, guarding the entertainment fortress.

The cones are set in raised concrete slabs adjacent to the curb, and each one is held fast by four thick bolts. The bolts seem to imply a sense of permanence, which startled one Downtown pedestrian, who described the cones as an eyesore. However, the cones will not be around any longer than the street sweepers clearing leaves from city gutters.

Sue Bonin, the Block E general manager, said the cones were set in place of light poles that were removed in August. Hairline fractures were discovered in each aluminum light pole; rather than risk them falling on cars and passersby, they were torn down. They will be replaced in November with sturdier steel poles.

Each pole was set in a raised, circular concrete slab; with the slabs temporarily empty, they are quite easy to trip over. The construction cones were set on the slabs to alert passersby. They were bolted down because, otherwise, they tend to either blow down or disappear when, Bonin said with a laugh, "people pick them up and take them home."

When the light poles are replaced, the Block E banners, which had hung from the poles, will also be put back up.

See something broken on Downtown's streets and skyways? Let us know -- we can get it fixed or at least help spur action. E-mail dbrauer@skywaynews.net, or fax 825-0929 or send your nomination to 1115 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, 55403.