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Jay Cooke State Park swinging bridge set to reopen

October 25, 2013
Associated Press

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The swinging bridge will soon be back at Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth.

The iconic bridge carried pedestrians over the rushing St. Louis River for generations before violent flooding badly damaged it last year.

Park manager Gary Hoeft told the Duluth News Tribune ( ) that the $1.1 million reconstruction is nearly done and the bridge is expected to reopen in the coming week.

"We're just kind of mopping up stuff," Hoeft said Thursday.

Hoeft says the rebuilt bridge will bounce and sway just like the old one.

"It will feel the same. It just doesn't squeak yet. It was hard to build harmonic distortion into the contract," he said.

The 219-foot pedestrian bridge spans the St. Louis River near the state park's visitor center, and is the primary access to a network of trails on the south side of the river.

The U.S. Forest Service built the first swinging bridge of logs and rope in the park in 1924. In the mid-1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a swinging bridge that included the stone pillars still in use. That bridge was destroyed in a May 1950 flood.

The bridge was rebuilt and reopened in 1953, with the bridge deck 7.5 feet higher than the original span.


Information from: Duluth News Tribune,



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