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Duluth Public Library
520 W. Superior St.
Duluth, MN 55802

A tax-supported service
of the City of Duluth

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Aerial Lift Bridge



Drawing of the footbridge suspended across the canal during winter in the 1870s.


Original Aerial Ferry Bridge with gondola making its one-minute crossing.


Gondola loaded to its 125,000 pound capacity.


Bridge operators on the car platform of the gondola.


Postcard with a view of the Aerial Ferry Bridge and the harbor.


Lift SpanN

Construction of the lift span in the late 1920s,
looking north on Lake Avenue.


South American

Passenger steamer South American passes under the bridge in the 1950s.

The Aerial Lift Bridge was constructed in 1904-1905 as the Aerial Ferry Bridge. Before that time Park Point was only accessible by ferry boats and, during the winter months, a temporary footbridge. The original Aerial Ferry Bridge consisted of a suspended car, or gondola, which ferried people and vehicles on a one-minute trip across the canal. The gondola could carry the equivalent of a loaded street car, two loaded wagons with teams, and 350 people. The lift span was added in 1929-1930 to handle increased traffic. At that time the bridge operators moved from running the gondola to working in the control house in the center of the span. The bridge first lifted for a vessel on March 29, 1930. The Aerial Lift Bridge lifts an average of 5,500 times a year, and over forty times a day during the summer months. It is owned and operated by the City of Duluth.

More photographs and information available at the Main Library.

Page Last Modified: 7/25/2013
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