Rich History, Unique Design Make Lift Bridge a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark

The Portage Lake Bridge is being recognized as one of the most significant historic
civil engineering works in the country thanks to three Michigan Tech researchers.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will dedicate the Portage Lake Bridge as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark at 10 a.m. Friday, June 17, in
a ceremony at Houghton’s Bridgeview Park. The public is invited.

“The lift bridge,” as it’s regionally known, links Houghton and Hancock and is the
only structure spanning the Keweenaw Waterway. At 4,584,000 pounds, built with more
than 35,000 tons of concrete and 7,000 tons of steel, the bridge was the heaviest
double-decked vertical-lift span in the world at the time of its construction in 1959.
It was also the first bridge in the United States to use an intermediate lift span
position. 

The cities of Houghton and Hancock will both receive a plaque to commemorate the completion
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