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History Hunt Stop 4

THE Aerial Lift Bridge

Step Four! More to explore!

There she is: The Aerial Lift Bridge. Duluth’s most iconic landmark — and most photographed structure — weighs 900 tons and, when the bridge span is raised, can allow safe passage for vessels up to 180 feet tall. Built in 1905, it marks the official entry point for ships into the Duluth Harbor, and is the only way for cars to access Park Point, Duluth’s famous seven-mile stretch of sandy beach.
However, the bridge you see today was not the bridge that was first built. This monster of cable and steel originally had no middle bridge piece. Rather it was a large open expanse with a single cable car that could ferry cars across the gap. As automobiles took over the country, and as tourism in Duluth boomed, city leaders recognized the need for a renovation and, in 1930, the Aerial Lift Bridge unveiled the look it’s now known for: a flat deck of bridge connecting the two shores on either side of the canal which can be raised to allow the passage of ships into the Duluth Harbor.