Aerial Bridge, Duluth, Minnesota

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Duluth Aerial Bridge

aerial lift bridge (towards the harbor)
aerial ferry bridge 1907 (towards the lake)
Location of Structure: About 600-700 Lake Ave South on Minnesota Point, Duluth, Mn, USA Western end of Lake Superior
Duluth, Minnesota
Saint Louis County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1904-1905
Historic Function: Bridge
Current Function of Structure: Bridge

Duluth Saint Louis

Aerial Bridge, Duluth, Minnesota
(46.778976931322,-92.092895507812warning.png"46.778976931322.-92.092895507812" is not a number. )
National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 73002174
Reference URL: [Reference]
Certification date: May 22, 1973
Level of significance: National




2. PROPOSALS TO BRIDGE THE MINNESOTA POINT SHIP CANAL (Tribune 01-29-91) Plans for proposed tunnel under ship canal ordered from Chicago engineer William Sooy Smith received by Bd of Public Works yest . . provides for 6-1/2 ft passageway, 18ft roadway; and two 16 ft rr tunnels; center of tunnel will be 145 ft east of Lake ave. (Herald 04-08-91)Idea of ship canal tunnel abandoned by city and original project of swing bridge plan of Alfred Boller . .will be built within year. (Tribune 10-20-91)Dept of Public Works . . propose a drawbridge instead of a swing, and says it can be built for at least 60% less than the Boller bridge would cost. (Herald 01-18-93)Tunnel Plan chosen; $1000 prize to CC Conklin of Scranton, Pa; concrete tunnel with brick lining, resting on sand and gravel, top will be 26ft under the water level. (Herald 10-05-01)Proposed Aerial Ferry Bridge . . steel towers on either side of the canal 186ft . . between these . . a bridge of stiff trusswork . . on this bridge . . steel tracks will be laid, along which roll wheels carrying vertical trusswork with a car attached . . car 34x50 . . will accommodate streetcars, teams, passangers . . centerway 20ft wide . . on either side . . covered cabin7ft by 50ft for passangers. In crossing canal the car will be 12ft above the surface of the water and will clear the new piers by 2ft passing into the base of the towers . . when completed the lower end of Lake Ave at the canal will be made a government park.

3. CONSTRUCTION OF THE AERIAL FERRY BRIDGE (1903-1905) (Herald 09-17-03) War Department has granted Duluth Ferry Bridge Commission permission to construct the aerial bridge across the ship canal . . based upon plans last submitted . . letter Sep 14,1903. (Herald 08-06-04)Construction work on the new aerial bridge is underway, and the longed for sight of the towers rising above the piers can be witnessed . . expect to have the north tower completed within a couple of weeks if all goes well . . last Tue we set up the first uprights for the tower which was the first work of actual errecting. The north pier is piled high with huge steel girders and trusses, and a number of pieces have been taken across the canal on a scow, and unloaded on the south pier. . the (above picture) shows the work on the first day devoted to the actual construction. The two uprights and the cross beam were errected in about 2hr on Tues afternoon. (Herald 11-15-04) Bridge Truss is finally connected . . one of the big 46ft beams connecting the two arms of the truss of the ferry bridge was lowered into place three minutes after 11 o’clock this morning . . as the beam was being lowered into position, and before either end had touched the projecting arms of the truss, one of the workmen jumped on the swinging girder, 185ft above the canal, and running across, stepped on to the other arm of the truss . . “ We have finally succeeded in getting rid of the stretch” said Supt Lowrey . . the east side of the upper chord is now connected, and the west side will go in this afternoon, if all goes well . . engineers . . got rid of the sag . . put wedges under the falsework, elevating it slightly . . stay bolts on rear supports of the towers were tightened . . guy ropes were tightened from the tops of the towers. Remaining part of the cantilever work is simple, and work should be completed within a few days. The truss will then be riveted, then nothing will remain to be done but to hang the car and install the machinery. (Herald 11-17-04 pic) Aerial Bridge connecting beam about to be put into place photo by Crandall & Maher . . workmen . . seen standing on the swinging beam . . 180ft above the canal. (Herald 03-24-05) Duluth’s aerial ferry bridge is now complete and ready for operation, and will probably be running regularly on Monday morning. Several trips were made by car this morning . . city officials . . across & back . . minute and 40 seconds across, minute and 52 seconds back

4. BRIDGE RELATED (1905-1929) (Herald 06-12-05) After winning $25 bet by climbing to top of aerial bridge . . shouting and waving hat from top chord 190ft above canal, Peter Gordon, 38yr old painter . . compelled to pay $15 to court . . action condemned by judge. (Herald 11-24-08) Seas rolling in between canal piers are so high that the aerial ferry . . cannot cross canal without being struck by waves. (Herald 07-29-16) Jim Ten Eyck saves life of HL Dresser . . more than 100 Duluthians last evening saw an automobile somersault from the aerial bridge, pushing a horse and wagon ahead of it . . and saw Jemes E Ten Eyck rescue . . HL Dresser . . the car lunged into the rear of the wagon . . crushed the horse against the iron gates . . snapped sending the horse, wagon, automobile into the waters of the canal . . first serious mishap that has been recorded on the bridge in its 12 yrs of service. (Herald 03-18-19) Aviator gives crowd a thrill . . Lt Larrabe goes under aerial bridge and over city . . following a sweep over the downtown . . banked . . straightened out for a run down between the piers and under the bridge. (Eve Herald 11-09-21 pic) Str Joshua Rhodes barely misses aerial carrier when mechanism of bridge went wrong – Lives of 50 Duluthians were placed in jeopardy & the wreck of the aerial bridge narrowly averted yesterday when the carrier suddenly stopped 2/5 of the distance across the channel . . Str Joshua Rhodes, loaded with ore . . narrowly missed the car by 15ft, only after hard work on the part of the crew to alter the course of the boat.





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