Portage Lake Lift Bridge - Lake Superior Circle Tour

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The Portage Lake Lift Bridge spans 1310 feet (399.29m) crossing over the Keweenaw Waterway, Portage Lake. Portage Lake runs entirely through the middle of the Keweenaw Peninsula and this bridge is the only roadway that connects them and the cities of Houghton and Hancock in Michigan’s Houghton County. This lift bridge was built in 1959 and is the world’s heaviest and widest (4 lanes) double deck bridge. The upper deck was originally for vehicles and the lower deck was for trains. There is no longer a railroad that crosses there though in the winter, the lower is utilized by snowmobilers. It can lift to a clearance of 100 feet (30m) to accommodate boats to pass underneath. This bridge is such a monumental one that the cities of Houghton and Hancock hold an annual Bridgefest event in June. The event celebrates the bridge’s vital link between the two communities and the rest of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

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