About 1,000 ships port in Duluth each year, with the summer being the busiest time. The Duluth Bridge is continuously staffed by capable workers. The bridge is raised and lowered for ships hauling iron ore, cement, sailboats, and excursion tour boats.
The bridge is primarily powered by electricity from storage batteries that are charged by generators. In the case that the power cables malfunction, the generators can be powered by a diesel engine. Electric pulleys raise and lower two 450 ton concrete block weights at each end of the bridge. It is a noteworthy feat and a compelling argument to fly to Duluth and check out the complete operation.
The two different ship types that come into the harbor are known as “Lakers” and “Salties.” The “Lakers,” cargo ships constructed specifically for traveling the Great Lakes, make up 90% of the visitors. They provide bulk products like iron ore, coal, and stone to the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway. These ships have a maximum length of 1,000 feet and a carrying capacity of up to 70,000 tons. While the “Salties,” which have a maximum length of 740 feet, often travel 2,342 miles from the Atlantic to Duluth-Superior.
Let’s Watch Giant Ship Going Under The Lift Bridge in the video below:
Source: Duluth Harbor Cam
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