Harbor Side

The Aerial Lift Bridge is a major landmark in the port city of Duluth, Minnesota.

The span is a vertical lift bridge, which is rather uncommon, but it began life as an extremely rare transporter bridge—the first of just two such bridges ever constructed in the United States. Originally built in 1905, the bridge was upgraded in 1929–30 to the current lifting design and continues to operate today.

The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 1973.

A maritime museum maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers exists near the site of the bridge.

The bridge can be raised to its full height in about 3 minutes, and goes up 25 to 30 times daily during busy parts of the shipping season. The span is about 390 feet, or 120 meters.

As ships pass, there is a customary horn-blowing sequence which is copied back. Long-short-long-short means to raise the bridge, and Long-short-short is a friendly salute.

This is the “Harbor Side” of the bridge, facing out toward Lake Superior. It is a lot of fun to cross and drive down to the point where the “beach” is located.

It is amazing, the sheer size of it when you get up close and watch the huge ships carrying iron ore or taconite pass under it.

Thanks for taking the time to look! -Dina 🙂