Lift Bridge--Lake Superior


Minnesota Point, a skinny, 7-mile-long sandbar between Duluth and Superior, is submerged in one spot, forming a natural entrance to the Wisconsin port. To counter this competitive advantage, Duluthians, in 1870, dug a channel through the Point into their own harbor. Local residents, cut off from the mainland, demanded that a bridge be built. In 1905, engineers erected a motorized gondola, by which a horse and buggy could be pulled across. In 1929, to accommodate automobile traffic, the gondola was replaced with a two-lane vertical-lift span that can be raised to allow ships to pass under. In 1999-2000, the bridge was extensively refurbished.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The "Twin Ports" of Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota, are the leading bulk cargo ports on the Great Lakes and among the busiest in the nation. Located at the westernmost end of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System, the Twin Ports are 2,342 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, making them the farthest inland seaports in the world.
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