July 27, 2021
DULUTH, Minnesota – The end of a promenade along a canal leading to one of the world’s few aerial bridges offers a great perspective to watch sailboats and commodity-carrying freighters on Lake Superior. The setting is downtown Duluth, and locals and visitors alike line up to see the huge ships slip through the canal and under the Duluth Aerial Bridge. To accommodate the ships, a substantial stretch of Lake Avenue is lifted 120 feet in the air so the ships can enter the calm waters of Duluth’s harbor. The freighters are of two types – “lakers,” carriers of commodities such as iron ore, coal and grain, that cannot reach saltwater because they are too big for the St. Lawrence Seaway, and oceangoing “salties.” Lakers can be up to 1,000 feet long. To fully grasp the size of a laker, visit the nearby William A. Irvin Museum. It’s not a bricks and mortar museum. Instead, it is the William A. Irvin, a Great Lakes freighter that once was the flagship of U.S. Steel’s fleet. Photo By: Tom Adkinson.
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