DULUTH, Minn. — Our drone series continues its short-term residency on Lake Superior's North Shore with a stop at the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at Canal Park.
Visitors are drawn to the moving span like moths to a flame, watching as ships from around the world pass under it.
According to canalpark.com, there are two distinct types of ships that visit the Port of Duluth: About 90% of them are "lakers," with hulls usually painted black or a dull red. They are ships specially built to sail the Great Lakes.
"Salties," as you might guess, are built to navigate salt water and often cross oceans and international waters. Those ships tend to be much more colorful.
As for the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge itself, it's a rare bird: There is only one similar span in the world, and you find it in France. It opened for use in 1905, and was modified in 1929 by adding an elevating roadway to replace the traversing platform, lengthening the steel towers, and incorporating new structural support within the confines of the old towers.
MnDOT says the lift bridge has been updated four times since the first big project, in 1986, 1999, 2007, and 2009, each time maintaining the overall historic character of the bridge.