Saturday, April 17, 2021

1897,1906-1961 Interstate Bridge over St. Louis River at Duluth+Superior

(Bridge Hunter; John A. Weeks III; Satellite, just a remnant is left as a public fishing pier)

When the bridge was finished in 1897, this Great Northern Bridge was the first bridge across the harbor and bay, and it also carried wagon traffic. Note the deck stringers extend beyond the edges of the truss to cantilever the traffic decks. Traffic was moved to the Blatnik Bridge in 1961. Since the railroad quit using it before 1961, the remainder of the bridge was removed in 1971.

Circa 1913 Postcard via Bridge Hunter

Lyndon Hepokoski posted
A photo of the Interstate Bridge between Duluth and Superior.
Ryan Mihalak shared
 
Attitudes toward safety were different back then. Notice that there are no handrails!
ForgottenMinesota and 7:47
"In the middle, a 485-foot steel truss swing span--the largest in the world at the time--was sandwiched in between two 325-foot steel humpback trusses."
[This blog has two photos of the center span that was wrecked on Aug 11, 1906, because the bridge tender fell asleep and did not open the span for a 3,665-ton freighter. So the swing span is from 1906.]

Don Jonson Sr. posted
DST bus crossing the old 'Interstate Bridge'. October 22, 1961.
[Note that handrails have been installed. But I wonder if pedestrians were no longer allowed. As today, cars had replaced walking.]

John Weeks
The photo is from a Wisconsin DOT flyer advertising the opening of the Blatnik Bridge. The bridge section on the Superior side of the channel is not a truss span in this view. Rather, the bridge section looks like a trestle. It appears that the south bridge truss span was removed and replaced with a trestle at some point during the lifespan of this structure.

One of the three trusses was kept for a fishing pier. 
Street View

The swing span in the background of this photo is part of the Interstate Bridge.
Bridge Hunter, photo provided by Hank Zaletel
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

Photo by Ed Hollowell via Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

A video describes this bridge starting at 4:05.

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