It is a quiet night at the Duluth Ship Canal and Aerial Lift Bridge. The bridge is partially raised; a sailboat just passed under the bridge.
Originally constructed from 1901 to 1905, the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge is a span-driven movable lift bridge that sits across the Duluth Ship Canal. Duluth's lift bridge was the first of only two transporter bridges ever built in the United States. The bridge initially had a gondola car suspended from the truss's bottom side and could carry 350 people plus wagons, streetcars, and automobiles. It crossed the canal every 5 minutes, taking a minute to make the crossing.
In 1929, the gondola was removed, and it was converted to a raisable roadway. The bridge raises approximately every 30 minutes to allow boats and ships through during the shipping season, March to January. As a ship passes through a Captain's Salute, a horn-blowing sequence of long-short-short is made, and the bridge copies it back. The horn on the bridge is two Westinghouse Airbrake locomotive horns.
The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Copyright 2021 Susan Rissi Tregoning
March 13th, 2021
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