Finding Minnesota: Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge


COME AND PRACTICE WITH THE MINNESOTA TEAM. TODAY’S EVENT WAS SPONSORED BY THE UNITED HEROES LEAGUE. IT’S ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE DESTINATIONS IN NORTHERN MINNESOTA. THE DULUTH AERIAL LIFT BRIDGE. IT NOT ONLY SERVES AS THE DOOR TO THE BUSIEST PORT ON LAKE SUPERIOR, IT ALSO BRINGS IN MILLIONS OF TOURISTS EVERY YEAR. MOST HAVE ONLY SEEN THE OVERPASS FROM ONE VANTAGE POINT BUT THERE ARE A SECOND FEW WHO GET A VIEW FEW HAVE SEEN. THE RARE LOOK FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A BRIDGE LIFT OPERATOR IN THIS WEEK’S FINDING MINNESOTA. Reporter: FIRST LIGHT ON LAKE SUPERIOR ILLUME MATES A WORK DAY WELL UNDERWAY. A SHIP REACHES THE HORIZON, HAVING PASSED THROUGH AN ICONIC CORRIDOR. ANYBODY WHO KNOWS DELURTH, FIRST THING THEY THINK OF IS THIS BRIDGE. Reporter: IT’S CONSIDERED THE GATEWAY TO THE GREAT LAKES AND DAVE CAMPBELL IS AMONG ITS KEEPERS. DAVE SUPERVISORS FIVE LIFT BRIDGE OPERATORS WHO CONTROL DULUTH’S MARITIME TRAVEL. WE TELL THEM WHEN THEY GET DOWN TO A MILE AND A HALF TO GIVE US A CALL. Reporter: 24 HOURS A DAY IN EIGHT-HOUR SHIFTS. AN OPERATOR MANS THIS OVERPASS PERCH. WHEN YOU HAVE LIKE A DUMP TRUCK OR GARBAGE TRUCK COME OVER, THIS WHOLE THING WILL SHAKE. THE LIGHT WILL BE SHAKING. Reporter: IT’S A ROLE OF ENDLESS RESPONSIBILITY. YOU’RE HERE BY YOURSELF AND YOU CAN’T LEAVE. YOU ARE MARRIED TO THE BRIDGE WHILE YOU’RE HERE. Reporter: THE TASK OF RAISING THE BRIDGE COMES IN CAREFULLY TIMED INCREMENTS. FOR SHIPS AND BOATS TO PASS THROUGH. WHEN YOU’RE STANDING ON THE PIER AND YOU WATCH IT GO UP AND DOWN, YOU’RE LIKE MAN, THAT’S PRETTY COOL. YOU DON’T REALIZE THE STRESS THAT THE OPERATOR IS UNDER. Reporter: CREATING THAT ACCESS BETWEEN LAKE AND PORT GOES BEYOND THE FLIP OF A SWITCH. AS THEY’RE APPROACHING I’VE GOT THIS GUY WALKING UP. Reporter: THERE’S ALSO THE BALANCE OF TOURIST TRAFFIC DURING THE SUMMER SEASON. YOU’RE LIFTING A THOUSAND TON BRIDGE THAT PEOPLE CAN WALK UP AND TOUCH WHILE IT’S MOVING. SO IT CAN BE A LITTLE NERVE-RACKING AT TIMES. Reporter: EVEN ON THE MOST STRESSFUL DAYS. SUN RISES ARE AWESOME. SUN SETS ARE AWESOME. Reporter: DAVE CAN APPRECIATE THE UNIQUE OFFICE GIVING HIM A BIRD’S EYE VIEW IN EVERY DIRECTION. FEW EVER GET TO SEE THE HARBOR FROM THIS VANTAGE POINT OR HAVE THIS TIE TO DULUTH HISTORY. BUILT IN 1905, THERE’S ONLY BEEN ONE OVERHAUL OF DESIGN 88 YEARS AGO. WHEN THEY CAME UP WITH THIS DESIGN, IT WAS JUST SOME GUYS IN AN OFFICE WITH A SLIDE RULE AND CALCULATOR. Reporter: A BRIDGE BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT THAT’S EVOLVED IN TO THE AREA’S MOST VISITED DESTINATION. RACHEL SLAVIK, WCCO 4 NEWS. IF YOU’RE IN DULUTH AND YOU WANT TO CATCH THE BRIDGE IN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *