March 19, 1927: Duluth Herald calls aerial transfer bridge “utterly inadequate”

Duluth’s Aerial Transfer Bridge, predecessor to the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. (Image: Duluth Public Library.)

On this day in Duluth in 1927, the Duluth Herald reported that cables on the aerial transfer bridge had broken, and expressed in an editorial that the bridge “is utterly inadequate, and is costing the city a great deal of money through the delay in traffic it steadily causes.” The editorial, titled “The Aerial Bridge Acts Up,” was an excuse for the paper to endorse a proposal by the Park Point Community Club for Park Point land owners to help pay the cost of converting the bridge to an aerial lift bridge. The editor observed that twice already in 1927 cables on the ferry bridge had broken, stopping bridge service and forcing Park Pointers to “make a perilous boat trip across the canal through a floating field of broken ice.” It went on: “At its best, the aerial bridge, interesting though it may be to tourists as a novelty, is utterly inadequate, and is costing the city a great deal of money through the delay in traffic it steadily causes. At its worst the aerial bridge is nearing the end of its usefulness, and before long it will be dangerous.” The editorial may not have been needed. Duluthians voiced relatively little controversy over the issue of a new bridge and approved the bonding by a vote of 16,433 to 9,326—nearly 64 percent approval. The next day the Duluth News-Tribune editorialized that “the old, picturesque aerial bridge which has about outlived its usefulness, will be replaced. This was a worthy proposal and the people of the city showed very good judgment in supporting it. The people living on the Point made a most-generous offer…and the new bridge will benefit the entire city.” Read about Duluth’s battle to convert the transfer bridge into today’s lift bridge here.

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