|On September 27, 2015, the Aerial Lift Bridge made a lift for 2 boats, the Tim S. Dool, arriving here with cement to discharge, and the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., leaving with coal.|
|My friend Kayla Currens, from Rockford, Illinois, took this picture of the American Integrity this morning (August 1, 2015) as she came into town to load 66,000 tons of coal for Detroit Edison’s power plant in St. Clair. It is the boat’s 15th trip to the Twin Ports this season; she made 22 visits last season.|
|The HHL Amur arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Friday afternoon, July 17, 2015 at 1:45 with wind turbine blades on her deck. She is now discharging them at the Port Terminal. (Two images above courtesy of Dave Campbell; click pics for larger versions)|
|I have a really tough job. Every day in the summer I have to figure out how to cross the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge to deliver my daily newsletter to my good friends (and advertisers) at the South Pier Inn. Or I should say, how to time my trip across so I can deliver the papers and get back before it goes up again.Today, Sunday, July 5, 2013, was not my best day for timing my sprint. On the good side, the John D. Leitch was set to enter the Superior entry to load iron ore pellets at the BN but had a change of heart and perhaps more to the point, needed to get fuel at Calumet so she decided to come in using the Duluth entry. My readers would be able to see her come in and better yet, I found out about it before I printed the paper.Next challenge, I went out to take my run across the bridge to the Inn, at about 10:23 this morning, knowing that I would have enough time (8 minutes) to get across and back before the bridge went up to let the Vista boat come in at 10:30 (the bridge only goes up on the half hour for smaller vessels). I started across. After all, this was my 46th issue of the summer and I had the pattern down good. I could make it across and back in 8 minutes, if no one wanted to talk to me. As I approached the bridge, I saw the Leitch way out there and the Vista boat approaching the Duluth piers. I stopped and did some mental calculations (not my strong point, as you will see). The Leitch was far enough out there that I had time (I thought) to deliver the papers and get back again before the bridge went up for the Vista boat and maybe the Leitch too. So I started to run across, ran into the South Pier Inn, threw my papers on the counter and ran out (luckily, no one wanted to say hello). I had 3 minutes left, I started to run, just as I arrived at the new light they installed, it turned from walk to stop. I thought I still had enough time to cross, since I still had 2 minutes left before she went up. But I thought about the clean record I have had for the last 15 years. The bridge has never yelled at me, as it sometimes does and someone tries to beat the system. I stopped, said a bad word and turned around.
I decided to take a walk down to the water behind the Hotel; might as well get some exercise since I could not get back to take a picture of the Leitch. We don’t see her so much these days. I ran into Dale and Bette Sola, the owners of the hotel. They were out back tending to their wonderful garden. I started to tell Dale (at right, taking me for a ride on his luxury liner) my sad tale. He added to it by reminding me that it was too bad I didn’t have my camera since the light is better on that side of the bridge in the morning. I felt worse, then realized I had my iPhone on my hip; it had a camera in it. Most of the world knows that but I keep forgetting since I am a snob about taking pictures with a phone.
But it was a chance to turn defeat into victory. I phoned the pictures and the Leitch went by, I crossed the bridge and started to write this. Above you see the symbols, thanks to Dale, of my victory, the work of my iPhone. Now I just have to remember to get my finger away from the lens when I take an iphone picture.
|Dave Campbell, Chief operator on the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, LCDR Anthony J. Maffia, Commanding officer Coast Guard cutter Alder and Vanta E. Coda II, Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority are just outside the bridge on the Alder enjoying the almost warm weather this morning (March 12, 2015).|
|Listen as we salute the bridge while going out to the lake. You will first hear a warning they gave us just before blowing the whistle; I think it says, “Ears on deck,” meaning hold your ears.|
|The Alder was the first vessel to go under the Lift Bridge this season. That gave a chance for Campbell to go under the bridge. He has gone up with the bridge thousands of times; this was only his 3rd time to go under the bridge.|
|Below, we are just about to leave the ice and go for a short trip on the open water of Lake Superior, about 5 miles out.|
|The temperature was pretty warm for March 12, but inside the pilot house, where the smart people stay, it was nice and warm.|
|We returned using the track we had opened up on the way out; notice the wind was already moving it around; we left a straight track behind us.|
|Some of the bridge operators had to say hello to the boss as he passed under them.|
|Great Lakes Towing Company tugs North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Minnesota are already in open water. Behind them, the American Integrity spent the winter at the Port Authority dock at Holcim Cement.|
|The Mesabi Miner has been at Midwest Energy Resources for the winter. With no cargo, she is high in the water (ice) but will soon be loading coal and will likely be the first commercial boat to depart the port within the next week.|
|The Indiana Harbor comes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on December 29, 2014. I am waiting for the world’s largest Christmas ‘tree’ to come down but at least the leaves are off the trees that frame this shot in warmer weather. This is her 26th trip to the Twin Ports this season. After fueling at Calumet, she will load 66,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources for the St. Clair electrical generation plant of Detroit Edison.|
|The CSL Assiniboine went under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning(August 11, 2014)backwards. Such a thing is not easy to surmise from the photo above but have you ever seen the Lift Bridge down with a boat in the ship canal going forwards. Either way, check out the video above.|
|Every week or so, these two guys work closely together, but until today (November 4, 2013), they had not met. Dave Campbell (right) is the new chief bridge operator. He works in that little house that hangs in the middle of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. His job is to make sure the Bridge goes up when a vessel comes under the Bridge. And when the bridge goes up for a vessel, the little house goes up too. His job is horizontally stable however. (picture, above right, taken in the pilot house of the Tregurtha on November 4, 2013. Picture below taken on July 30, 2006)|
|Tim Dayton (left) is the Captain on the Paul R. Tregurtha. His office is in the pilot house at the top of the boat. His office does not move vertically very much, but it covers a lot of ground moving horizontally between the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior and the several Detroit Edison power plants where he delivers his cargo of coal. It takes about a week to load in Superior, take a trip down to Detroit to discharge the coal and then come back to the Twin Ports for more coal. So about 4 times a week, Tim’s office at the top of the Tregurtha goes under the Lift Bridge just below Dave’s office in the little house now high up in the air.|
|When the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge goes up for the arrival of the Philip R. Clarke this morning (May 17, 2013), Dave Campbell (right) will be in charge and Ryan Beamer (left) will be home working on the next chapter in his life. It is an historic day and where better to read about it than at Zenith City Online.|
|The last saltwater ship of the season, the Federal Sakura, arrived last night (December 17, 2012) at 7:56. She was of course greeted by the annual Bentleyville Christmas light display in Canal Park.|
|The Hermann Schoening arrived Duluth on December 13, 2012 (below) to load grain at CHS2 in Superior. It was her first trip to the Twin Ports.|
The Aerial Lift Bridge will be closed to vessel traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 to allow workers to replace an electrical switching assembly. The unit will be installed to ensure operation of a backup diesel generator in case normal power is lost. (from the City of Duluth)
Last night, Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at about 10:15, I saw two ships at anchor as I looked through the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. I think the Atlantic Erie is to the left, and the Pochard to the right. The Atlantic Erie is waiting to load coal at Midwest Energy; the Pochard is waiting to load grain at CHS. The Atlantic Huron is out there now (Thursday morning) as well as the Mandarin. (Let me know if you think these two ships might be other than the above; after all, it was dark out there) You can see the beginning of Bentleyville a the lower right; they have already erected the metal Christmas tree and were testing some lights last night. Remember, it is exactly 2 months before Christmas. Click here to see more pages featuring the Aerial Lift Bridge.
| Sunrise on August 14, 2012 found the Hong Kong flagged Garganey at anchor off the Duluth piers. She is named after the duck of the same name. The duck can be found in Europe and Asia in the summer; in winter, they fly down to South Africa and India. In August, 2008 and again today, the ship was in Duluth. In 2008, she loaded bentonite. Today she is here to load spring wheat for Savona, a port on the northwest coast of Italy.
The ship is owned by a company in Hong Kong and is currently under charter to Canadian Forest Navigation, commonly called Canfornav. She may come in late this afternoon and go to CHS in Superior. The crew, all from mainland China, will load on Wednesday and may depart the Twin Ports for Italy Wednesday night.
Late last evening at 20:45, as the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge was lifting for the 1000 foot American Integrity, the bridge lost power and the alert crew of the Integrity made a go-around and re-entered once the power was restored.
Had the crew and Bridge Operator not done a superb job in dealing with this emergency, a catastrophe would have occurred in front of a crowded Canal park.
This video will show the first attempted entry and the go-around.
Watch the Duluth Pilot boat take the pilot out to the Marietje Marsilla in the anchorage just off the Duluth piers, and then come in with us, as we go with the ship under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and move up the Duluth harbor to the Port Terminal
|The Dutch flagged Ebroborg came into town on Friday (May 11, 2012) to get bentonite clay at Hallett Dock #5. She left with her cargo on Saturday morning (above).|
|She battled a thick fog but the American Sprit had no trouble getting through the Duluth Harbor, under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and out to Lake Superior on her way to load iron ore pellets in Two Harbors|
|Three views of the Duluth harbor this morning, Friday, March 2, 2012. Top, a crane barge, owned by Duluth Timber, sank in her Railroad Street slip yesterday. The Coast Guard is investigating any potential spills or other hazards that might be involved. Just off the slip, the Coast Guard cutter Alder was sitting still in the still water (note: I said water, not ice). Below, the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge was also pretty still (more water).|
|The Cedarglen, built in West Germany in 1959 as an ocean going ore carrier, arrived in Duluth on August 18, 2011 to load iron ore pellets. Being a sunny day in August, there were a lot of people at the Duluth ship canal to greet her (above).|
|The Algowood spent a large part of the day on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at anchor waiting to come in and load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. The Arthur M. Anderson left that dock and went under the Lift Bridge this morning (Thursday, July 7, 2011) at 7:05. The Algowood was already in the harbor, coming in at 6:16 this morning. The Mighty Thomas Carnival is still going strong and being Wednesday night, the sailboats were out racing on the lake.|
|I went down behind the Aquarium last night (June 29, 2011) to take a picture of the salt water vessel Orsula coming into port. With tugs helping out and the sun just sliding over the hill behind me, it seemed like a good thing to do. Then I noticed a cute couple watching the ship too. Upon further investigation, they seemed too serious to be simply visitors out for an evening stroll.|
|When Dennis O’Hara turned and said, Hi Ken, I realized I was not alone, or rather I was alone. All I had was my little camera. Dennis had his wife Debby with him, a couple of interesting boxes and an even stranger, bug-like contraption sitting on the grass in front of him.|
|Upon further investigation, I realized it was a helicopter. Knowing Dennis, I looked underneath the helicopter and saw what looked to be a camera. A closer look at that box revealed the controls you usually see in the cockpit of an airplane. Despite being a licensed pilot, Dennis had spent a good part of the winter learning how to fly his OktoKopter. Octo from the Latin for 8, meaning 8 blades.|
|And the first step for that is to know precisely when to take off so you can get your picture and get back with a safe landing. A slow moving ship can cause a problem so they carefully judge the speed of the ship as it came under the Lift Bridge. I assigned myself the task of announcing that important moment in the countdown to lift off. You can see the bow of the ship just coming under the bridge, the tug ready to help and the OktoKopter just taking off. My work was done, successfully, I might add.|
|Having lost the battle to get exclusive pictures of the Orsula, I decided the only thing left was to get exclusive pictures of Dennis and Debby taking pictures of the Orsula with the OktoKopter.|
|This is not your average model airplane. For one thing, it will be flying over water so stalling in midair, or worse, is not an option. Nor is your battery running low. Happily all this technology includes a voice that announces how many minutes the battery has left, from the 7 it had when it took off.|
|I thought of one problem, but they had that covered too. How do you know what the camera is seeing. Debby took care of that with a totally separate system; she was watching a live feed from another camera on the OktoKopter showing her what the camera in the sky was seeing. That allowed Dennis to maneuver the OktoKopter into position. He had rigged it to take a picture every 2 seconds after he pressed the button. Can’t expect him to pilot the aircraft and take pictures at the same time.|
|Meanwhile, the voice was giving Dennis an update of the status of the battery. Click here to go to his web page at Northern Images to see the picture he, Debby and the OktoKopter took last night. His home page at Northern Images Photography is here.|
|The snow is gone, most of the ice has vanished; Duluth is the usual April shade of brown. Happily, this morning (Thursday, April 7, 2011), the fog moved in and prettied the place up a bit. Above, the Vista Star and the William A. Irvin survived the winter in good shape; unfortunately the Blue Bridge is still there, but after a slow journey from the Midwest Energy coal dock in Superior, the Mesabi Miner finally departed the port with 58,000 tons of coal for Presque Isle . It seemed like the Aerial Bridge was the only place the fog lifted even a little bit. I could not see the Miner once she got beyond the bridge, just as I could hardly see her very well as she approached the bridge.|
|It was a cold and windy day on Monday, February 21, 2011, as it was the day before. On Sunday, the tent that was built over the south tower of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge was torn to shreds by gusts of wind up to 69 mph. The tent was there to protect the bridge painters from the wind and cold, and to keep the material they were scraping off the bridge before painting from us. Probably worse is all the ice from Lake Superior that has now filled the north end of the harbor. The ship canal is full of ice; yesterday it was all water. Click here for a short video I took this morning. It is a bit choppy since I was trying to stand upright on ice and keep the camera mostly still. I kept some video in while I walked from my car to my ‘spot.’|
I took this off my web cam that for 10 months of the year is watching the ship traffic come under the bridge. The other two months (as in now), it sits watching the bridge not moving (and we still have folks tuning in). This year, we have the added attraction of the south tower being painted (last winter, the north tower was painted). That should be done by the middle of March for the beginning of the next shipping season. Of course, all the action takes place under, or inside, a tent which renders the shot doubly ridiculous. TV was not invented to watch a bridge get painted under a tent. Actually, radio would not make much of an improvement. But for a niche product like the Duluth Shipping News, it works fine. You may notice the fog around the bridge; it arrived earlier this afternoon, foretelling a big wind and very cold temperatures and even some snow, soon. For two days now, it has been like spring, almost.
The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge is almost dressed up and ready to go … I mean to be painted. The north tower was painted last year. It is hard now to see the south tower but it is the same color as the top span, dark, old metal like. The lower span has been painted already, I think. When the painting is completed, by mid-March, the bridge will be back in balance, paint wise. The tent protects those of us around the bridge from getting contaminated by old paint and whatever else they take off before painting. The tent has the added benefit of keeping the painters dry and warmer.
|… as of Wednesday, January 17, 2011|
|Winter layup in Duluth
The Adam E. Cornelius, American Victory and Edward L. Ryerson have been in port for an extended layup. The H. Lee White arrived in port for winter layup on January 4th, 2011. The American Spirit arrived here for layup on January 12, 2011 and the Roger Blough arrived on January 14th. Both the American Century and the James R. Barker came in on the morning of January 17, 2010; the American Integrity arrived on January 18th. The John G. Munson arrived on Wednesday morning January 19, and is the last arrival for layup for the winter. Weather will not allow the American Mariner to be as originally expected. You can check the schedule page at www.duluthboats.com for up-to-date information.
|Soo Locks According to the Cheboygan Daily Tribune, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted a request from the Lake Carriers’ Association to extend the closing date of the Soo Locks for three days. The Poe Lock will officially close for the season on Tuesday, January 18th so that low inventories of iron ore pellets could be replenished to meet the wintertime needs of industry. The locks traditionally close on January 15th each year.|
|Bridge painting The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge will close at 6 am on Friday, January 14 so that the south tower can be painted (the North tower was painted last winter. See picture at left). That means all traffic after the 14th and until the end of the season (defined as the time that the last boat arrives in port) will use the Superior entry to access the port. It is anticipated that the bridge will reopen for traffic at 10am on March 14th. Watch paint dry!! You can still watch the paint dry, or at least watch the tent that covers the bridge paint while it dries, at our live 24/7 web cam at www.duluthshippingnews.com/dsntv I may find something even more interesting that paint drying before the winter is over!|
|With 7 days left in November, we have 5 salt water ships in Duluth today, two of those at anchor. Above the Orla, framed by the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, is waiting to come in while the Three Rivers is just south of her (below). Four more salt water ships are expected by the end of the month. The last salt water ship usually departs the Twin Ports by December 18th.|
|On Friday afternoon, November 5, 2010, the Mesabi Miner came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge for the 37th time this season, on her way to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. She was coming from Taconite Harbor and at 01:42 this morning (November 6), she departed Duluth for a return trip to Taconite Harbor to deliver a cargo of coal. You can see the Greek flagged Island Skipper at anchor waiting to come in, probably on Monday, to load grain. She was last in the Twin Ports in November, 1998.|
The Federal Power came into port today through the fog to load distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a byproduct of the ethanol production process. DDGS is a cargo rarely loaded in the Twin Ports, although this will be the 2nd shipment going out this year. In the US, we produce about 3.2 million tons of it annually and ship about 700,000 tons to Europe where it is used for animal feed. This is the Federal Power’s 3rd visit to the Twin Ports since she was built in 2000; she made two trips here in 2007. When finished, she will take her cargo to Ireland.
since she went up for the Joseph H Block. Actually, I presume until shortly after the Block went under the bridge since it did start to go down. Go here to see the live video of the bridge; not a lot of action, but…
The bridge is now operable at 7:33 pm
Power went out during an electrical storm; perhaps after the Block went under and the bridge had started to go down. For some reason, it was not level and at that point, as a safety measure, the descent is automatically stopped. They then had to manually lower the bridge or actually lower at least one side until it became level. That happened and it appeared that they then turned the job over to the computer again and she came down without a problem; cars and people started over immediately and there was lots of horns honking. The bridge even blew her whistle to presumably thank everyone for their patience.
8:10 the Bridge was raised, presumably to test it. It appeared to work.
As I pulled into my parking lot this morning, the bridge was up so I scampered across the street to see who was coming. I was not the only one scampering to see the Algosoo. I ran into my office to make sure DSNTV was working (Microsoft sometimes thinks it is a good idea to reboot my computer when I am not there; they always forget to turn the camera back on); ran back out to catch the Algosoo in the harbor, found the bridge still up and there was the Canadian Olympic arriving right behind her. The Algosoo went to the CN dock in West Duluth to pick up iron ore pellets; the Canadian Olympic waited for the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. to finish loading coal at Midwest Energy.
The sign above made Park Pointers happy today; it is the beginning of the end of the Aerial Bridge north tower paint job. Still one lane though. It is possible the work may complete later today; the bridge may go up for the first time in 2 months and it is even possible that a boat, the James R. Barker, might come under later today. As a friend of mine used to say, “Watch but don’t bet on it.” DSN-TV (Duluth Shipping News TV has the web camera video on the bridge now and probably for the rest of the day. (2:50 pm: Note: the bridge went up around 2:30 this afternoon and the Barker came in via the Superior entry about the same time. Stop by and take a look)
The first ship, probably the James R. Barker, should depart here in 6 days. As you can see, the ice is breaking up in the harbor; most of Lake Superior is ice free. We just need to get the Aerial Lift Bridge painting job completed (note the north tower, still enveloped by scaffolding and tent that protect us from lead and other things that are being scraped off the bridge).
The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge painting project continues. The scaffolding is almost to the top (below) and the tents to protect us from flying chips of lead based paint are starting to appear (Saturday, February 6, 2010). Some folks think the concern about lead in paint is overdone, but it is funny, the closer you are to the chips, the happier you are with the tents. Of course, the tent will keep the painters warm; no such luck for the scaffolding builders. Painting is set to start on Monday.
|The American Century slide under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge around 9:15 on Thursday morning with 64,000 tons of coal for Ontario Power Generation. As she left the ship canal, the Edgar B. Speer was at anchor waiting for a dock at Two Harbors and in front of her, the Manitowoc was waiting to come in to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth.|
The Tuscarora, once the Rixta Oldendorff, arrived off the the Duluth piers last night (November 14, 2009).
Overnight, the Tuscarora took the place of the Federal Sakura at anchor off the Duluth piers. She came in last night at 8:27. Both are (will be) loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. This is the 2nd trip here for the Tuscarora this season; she has been here many times in the past when she was the German owned Rixta Oldendorff. She is now operated by a company in Greece.
The Federal Hudson, in red, had some company over the Labor Day weekend. On Sunday evening, above, she was joined by, I think, the Algowood. The Algowood came in early Monday morning to load iron ore pellets; the Federal Hudson is expected to come in to load grain on Tuesday morning (September 8th).
|What you see below is not just another tall ship going under another lift bridge. Well, it is just another tall ship, but the bridge is special. If you read about the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, you will quickly find out that the original version of it was modeled after a bridge built in Rouen, France in 1898 (left). That bridge was blown up by the French army in 1940 to slow down the German army advance. A new bridge has just been built in Rouen. Called the Gustave Flaubert lift bridge, it opened in 2008. Both Bridges were built to go over the River Seine. The new bridge, below, looks a lot like our Lift Bridge, although it really doesn’t look a lot like our Lift Bridge, if you know what I mean. The roadway is lifted up to allow passing vessel traffic; each side of the road way (3 lanes each way) is independently lifted. Why do I put this here now. A friend in Montreal sent me a beautiful slide show with some of the best pictures of sailing ships i have ever seen. Hidden at about the 15th slide is the picture below. She sent it to me since she, being French speaking, had helped me years ago translate some text i had about the bridge but couldn’t understand. Take a look at all the pictures here. Click here for more information about the new bridge|
|Yesterday was the first day of Spring. The Aerial Lift Bridge celebrated by making a lift at noon (above), shortly after two-direction-at-the-same-time auto traffic was opened. With the paint job completed for this year, the bridge crew still has to do some maintenance on the bridge but it should be open to ship traffic by Saturday. The Mesabi Miner will depart Taconite Harbor around noon today, arriving in the Twin Ports in the evening to load coal for Marquette. It is expected to depart for Marquette sometime Saturday morning. For a change of pace from the Miner, on Saturday both the Roger Blough and the Indiana Harbor should also depart the port. Photo taken on March 20, 2008|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-21-2008|
|The salt water ship Victoria has been at anchor off the Duluth piers for several days. It finally came in last night to load grain at the busy CHS grain terminal in Superior. Above, it appears to sit inside the Aerial Lift Bridge in a picture taken Monday morning. Midwest Energy Resources in Superior is also a very busy place. Morning light may find the Canadian Enterprise at the outside anchorage waiting for the Mesabi Miner to finish. The John B. Aird should also be in the neighborhood, waiting for the Canadian Enterprise to finish at Midwest. Waiting boats may also have slowed down out in the lake rather than arriving here and then waiting, or they may have come in to wait at the Port Terminal or in the St. Louis River for a bit. Photo taken on August 06, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-06-2007|
|The American Integrity should be here for its 11th trip of the season. As today, it has loaded coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior on each trip, taking it most of the time to Detroit Edison, as it will do again today. The round trip to Detroit usually takes about a week. Above, it is departing under the Lift Bridge last Thursday for Detroit so today, a week later, marks a usual turn around for the boat. It will again load coal today for Detroit Edison. The boat has also made a couple trips to Silver Bay with coal. Photo taken on May 17, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-24-2007|
|In the picture above, taken Sunday morning, you can see in the broken ice going out from the bridge, a wide track and a narrow one inside it. On Friday, the cutter Biscayne Bay led the Mesabi Miner out of Duluth. Being second, the Mesabi Miner’s track covered over the cutter’s narrower track. The Mesabi Miner went to Marquette, but the cutter came back to port, creating the track pattern you see above. Last night, the Biscayne Bay was scheduled to depart for Thunder Bay. They broke open the track so I would guess there was a somewhat wider track inside the Mesabi Miner’s broader track laid down on Friday. The Miner returns this morning around 8 am. Presumably before that, you could see the Biscayne Bay Sunday night track created inside the Miner track from Friday. After the Miner comes in, we should only see its very wide track with the cutter track now covered over by the Miner’s wide body. There are no narrow tracks scheduled to interfere before it departs with another cargo of coal later today, this time for Taconite Harbor. Soon, we will be able to see the boats instead of track them. Photo taken on March 18, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-19-2007|
|There are many signs of spring. You know it is getting close to spring when your local icebreaker (this year, the Biscayne Bay) is docked at the DECC for a couple days of R&R over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend. The picture above was taken from the Coast Guard cutter as it returned to the port after leading the Mesabi Miner out to the lake on Friday morning. A couple hours earlier, the Biscayne Bay had opened up a track all the way to open water (about 5 miles out on Friday) for the Miner to follow. Upon returning, the track was much wider, in fact about as wide as a thousand footer. Late Sunday night, the Miner will be returning to the port. Killing two birds with one stone, the Biscayne Bay will depart the port earlier in the evening on Sunday, breaking open the track again for the Miner and this time continuing on to its next stop in Thunder Bay. Photo taken on March 16, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-18-2007|
|The US Coast Guard icebreaker Biscayne Bay was out Friday morning breaking ice in preparation for the departure of the Mesabi Miner, the first cargo boat to go under the bridge this season. After several tracks in the inner harbor, the cutter went under the Lift Bridge at 8:57 this morning(above) and out to cut a path through the ice to the water about 5 miles beyond the bridge. The Miner cleared the ship canal around 9:15 am (under the same lift) and followed the track laid down by the Biscayne Bay out to the water and then on to Marquette where it will discharge about 58,000 tons of coal before returning here to take on another cargo of coal. Photo taken on March 16, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-17-2007|
|The Stewart J. Cort made 446 trips to the Twin Ports since 1996. In 432 of those trips, it entered the port using the Superior entry, in most cases to load taconite at the Burlington Northern Dock, just around the corner from the Superior entry. Yesterday afternoon, it appeared on the horizon headed for Duluth and went under the Lift Bridge around 2 pm. It was launched in 1972 at Erie, Pennsylvania. The bow and stern were built in Mississippi and welded together. This ‘vessel’ then sailed to Erie where the two pieces were split apart, a midbody was inserted between them and the parts were then welded together, creating the first 1,000-footer on the Great Lakes. The reason for the Duluth entry yesterday: a fuel stop at the Duluth Marine Terminal of Murphy Oil.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-28-2006|
|The last of 1,089 cargo carrying boats in the 2004-5 shipping season, the James R. Barker, left the port on Monday morning with a load of coal for Presque Isle, Michigan. It returned Friday night for winter layup. Yesterday, the John G. Munson came in for winter layup. No more traffic is expected this season. Late yesterday afternoon, the Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley departed Duluth after helping the last two boats get to their dock. Of the 1,089 vessels, 250 were Canadian flagged, 111 were foreign flagged and 728 flew a US flag. We still have the Aerial Lift Bridge, 100 years old this year.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-23-2005|
|We do not often see a boat about to go under the Lift Bridge while the bridge is still on the way up. Happily, the picture above of the Algowood, taken on January 2, 2002, is not an example of that. The Algowood is departing Duluth going backward. It has just cleared the bridge as it moves out the Duluth ship canal. It turned around just beyond the piers and disappeared over the horizon, facing east.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-04-2004|
October 20, 1999: On Wednesday, while quietly sitting at my desk, I was jolted awake by what I felt was the end of my time here on earth. Not to worry, it was just the start of the Aerial Lift Bridge millennial repair. Good thing it only happens every 100 years. Above, the north pier crane is place in the front yard of the Corps of Engineers
Wednesday, December 1, 1999: Left, Jim ‘Scrap’ Meysman guides a girder by my window as the crane prepares to lift it up to the bridge. Scrap is one of the workers who is preparing the Aerial Lift Bridge for its winter repair job. (picture taken from inside Duluth Shipping News World Headquarters). At the other end of the crane, Operating Engineer Dene operates the crane while Operating Engineer Kitty maintains it CLEAR
Wednesday, December 3, 1999: Two workers take a break from preparing the Lift Bridge for its winter makeover. They are watching the Mecta Sea depart Duluth. The Mecta Sea is better known to Duluthians as the Socrates, a ship that ran aground off Park Point in 1985. The letters are still visible under the new paint marking the ship as the Mecta Sea. This ship was here two years ago, under the name of the Union.
Above, Duluth News Tribune staff writer Martiga Lohn interviews crane operator Dene Halvorson for a story that appeared in the Saturday, December 11th paper. Guess what he is pointing at.
Below, the very same crane operator and his oiler.
The second of 4 sheaves is taken off the bridge. All four are original equipment (from 1929) and all will be replaced.
December 30, 1999: The second of 4 sheaves is taken off the bridge (the round pulley on the left middle above, and hanging from the crane at right). Three of them were taken to a junk yard; the fourth will be placed on the property of the Corps of Engineers in Canal Park. New sheaves will be installed later. The sheaves act as pulleys, allowing the cables that move the bridge up and down to do their work. All the old cables are already off the bridge, as is the balance chain. The cables will be replaced; the balance chain will be inspected and repaired if needed. The two sheaves from the north tower will be taken down on Friday.
The last sheave descends from the bridge to the front yard of the Corps of Engineers, only hours before the new Millennium rises.
CLEAR Five members of Duluth Ironworkers Local 563 ring out the new year by taking down the last two sheaves from the Lift Bridge. Above, literally, they are Mike ‘Rivit’ McDevitt and Gene Smith standing on the top girder. Again above, the lower row of 3, is Jim ‘Scrap’ Meysman, Wayne Elfin and Duane Godbout. At right, group portrait on firmer ground. Click here for larger version of picture.
December 31, 1999: The first of four sheaves is delivered to the bridge site
January 21, 2000
January 19, 2000: All of the parts of the bridge that are to be replaced or reworked have been removed. Some have been taken to the junk pile, to be replaced by new equipment (the sheaves). Others have been sent out for rehabilitation (the lift chains). New equipment is arriving at the site and will be continuously from now on. The above is a lifting girder or support that will be placed on the top of the machinery room. The girder will be attached to the new cables that will move the bridge up and down.
Friday, January 28, 2000: Two cranes and one oiler get comfort from the cold from Grandma’s Keely Heim. Actually, it is two crane operators. Berit Halverson, second from the left, handles the large crane at the south end of the bridge while his father Dene takes care of the crane at the north end. And yes, Dene’s crane is slightly bigger than Berit’s (Bear), and Dene also gets to put his arm around Keely. Oiler Kitty Ruzynski maintains Dene’s crane and every once in a while, he lets her stay inside his warm cab, while he moves men and material around his end of the bridge site. The crane (operator) takes on all crane questions on the Bridge message board.
CLEAR Not all the work on the bridge gets done on the bridge.Duluth Steel Fabrication has been doing a lot of the specialty work on the new steel beams that will soon be put in place. Above left, Brian Robinson and Dan Grayber prepare a part of one sheave bearing support for welding. Brian is heating up the steel to remove moisture prior to welding. Above right, Dan Wegleitner works on another support. Note that it is at an earlier stage. The same shaped steel is further along in the process at the left and has been welded to other pieces of the support.
Monday, January 31, 2000: Lee Popovich of Duluth Steel Fabricators works on a part of the column top that will eventually support the new sheaves when they get moved to the top.
February 16, 2000: It is hard to believe that in just a few months, the front yard of the Corps of Engineers Building at Canal Park will have green grass instead of cranes and snow and trailers and sheaves.
CLEAR The operator’s house has a brand new console. Click here for more new stuff.
February 18, 2000: The bridge rehab is now working the late shift as the shipping season is only about one month away.
Wednesday night, March 1, 2000: the Duluth Shipping News and the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association hosted an evening of slides and conversation regarding the Aerial Lift Bridge Rehab currently going on. At left, Ken, Nick, Steve and Norm wait for the show to start. Norm, a member of Iron Workers Local #563 does all the work, Steve, the bridge operator makes sure all the work gets done, Nick, the engineer, tells Norm what to do so Steve will be happy when they all leave. Ken takes everybody’s picture (except of course for the one above.
Thursday, March 2: The first new sheave goes up.
High winds on Friday (March 3) kept the third sheave on the ground
Saturday, March 11, 2000: The crane pulls cable that will be attached to the machine house at one end (on the bridge deck at left and below), and up over the sheave (above) to the counter weight at the other end.
Saturday, March 24: Saturday morning and Jim and Steve from J & S Steel put one of the balance chains together. Four chains will be attached to the two counterweights around 2 AM Tuesday morning. Then a test lift.
Workers were unable to attach the chains and lift the bridge on Sunday morning. Another attempt will be made very early, Tuesday morning. The bridge will be closed to traffic during the following hours on Tuesday morning for this procedure: 1 to 2:30 AM and 2:45 to 3:45 AM
Monday, March 27: Workers made several successful partial lifts Monday afternoon, preparing for installation of the chains early Tuesday morning. Work will close the bridge Tuesday morning for these hours: 1 to 2:30 AM and 2:45 to 3:45 AM
Thursday, March 30, 2000: The Indiana Harbor came under the ‘new’ Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge Thursday March 30 at 7:21 PM. Everything worked great except the new horn which is very wimpy. At the left is the Indiana Harbor making her turn into the harbor. In the greeting group, at the left is Paul Johnson, Project Manager for the bridge constuction, center back is Joe Litman, consulting engineer for the project from LHB Engineers and at the right is Dennis Techlin, project foreman. Dennis leaves for his next project in Milwaukee tomorrow morning . In the center is Duluth Shipping News and Marine Museum chief in charge of keeping things going, and everything else, Mary George.
Above, the men and women who brought us the Year 2000 version of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Below, the last spire is reattached to the north tower as the crane across the street salutes the bridge.