Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth
No doubt Duluth's most famous landmark is the unique Aerial Lift Bridge, first raised to ship traffic on March 29, 1930. The bridge's center span crosses the channel of Duluth's shipping canal. It weighs 1,000 tons and is raised and lowered with concrete counterweights at 5,000 tons apiece. The span is raised to a height of 138 feet to accomodate large freighters. We watched as this smaller coast guard vessel (pictured)passed under. An average of 5,500 lifts are made each shipping season. The Aerial Lift Bridge has never been struck or severely damaged in its entire history.
Go to Canal Park and watch the ships go by under the lift bridge. Pictured here is the largest ship on the Great Lakes as it left the canal area in Duluth. It's more than 1,000 feet long! It was pretty cool to see!
Canal Park is the area by the canal under the famous and gigantic bridge. There's of course a nice park, the best shopping area in town, and great food! Watch the bridge go up and down, it's fascinating! I've heard that it's the tallest and fastest bridge of it's kind! And takes 50 seconds to lift the road portion of the bridge 138 feet up into the air! It's a really cool looking bridge.
The Lakewalk winds four miles along the shores of Lake Superior. You can walk, jog, roller blade, bike or even take a horse drawn carriage ride if you wish. There are many parks along the way, including the Rose Garden, which has over 3000 flowers, a fountain and a marble gazebo. It also has a great veiw of the ariel lift bridge. Don't foget to stop in at Fitgers for some shopping and/or eating and if you want a special treat, make sure you stop at the Portland Malt Shop. Watch for the mounted police (horse and bicycle) while on your walk!
Our favorite thing to do in Duluth is sit at Canal Park and watch the ships, both foreign and the lakers, come and go under the ariel lift bridge. The Lakers are the biggest of the ships, some over 1000 long! The foreign ships are smaller, as they need to manuver thru the Saint Lawrence Seaway. They average around 600'. The Marine Museum in Canal Park is open daily and has lots of information about the ships traveling thru; their size, where they are from and where they are headed and who owns them. They also have lots of great lake history there and different films that are shown. They have a boatwatcher's hotline so you can get up to date information on ship arrivals and departures and they display the shipping schedule on different screens inside the museum too. This is all free, you only pay for parking and that is a minimal charge. The Boatwatcher's Hotline is: 218.722.6489.
Visit the Army Corps of Engineers Museum at the foot of the Aerial Lift Bridge (Duluth's Eiffel Tower.)
It's Free! The Port is what makes Duluth unique and this musuem does a good job of helping the visitor understand what they're seeing in and around the inner Port area.
I believe this is one of the largest aerial lift bridges. You can go right up to the canal and watch the huge frieghters go by.