Portage Lake/Canal Lift Bridge
This bridge connects the townships of Hancock and Houghton, across Portage Lake. Portage Lake/Canal is a portion of the waterway which cuts across the Keweenaw Peninsula with a canal linking the final several miles to Lake Superior to the northwest. As its name states, this is a lift bridge with the middle section capable of being lifted and it is a crucial lifeline, since it is the only land based link between the north and south sections of the Keweenaw peninsula.
The lower deck of the bridge was originally open to rail traffic, but this level is now a road and it is raised up to road level in the summer for cars. This is done so that smaller boats may pass below without needing to disrupt car traffic. It is lowered in the winter, when ice prevents boats, so that snowmobile traffic can enter under the roadway.
The original bridge on this site was a wooden swing-bridge built in 1875. This bridge was built by James P. Edward of Fox and Howard Inc.
of Chicago. This was replaced by a steel swing-bridge built by the King Bridge Company
in 1901 which was damaged in a 1905 ship collision. The central swinging section of the bridge was replaced and a similar incident almost occurred again in 1920. In 1959, this bridge was replaced, at a cost of 10+ million USD, by the current bridge which was built by the American Bridge Company
Hancock and Houghton hold an annual celebration called Bridgefest to commemorate the opening of the bridge which united their two communities. According to ByWays.org
, this is the heaviest and widest double-decked vertical lift bridge in the world.
In a 10 mile neighborhood ...
- Question n' Answer
- Quincy Smelter
- Believing In Something
- Keweenaw Chain Drive
- Hobo Parade
- A Boy & His Guitar
- Bleeding Hearts