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Houghton–Hancock Bridge

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1959, Martin McGrath, chief engineer; George Jacobson, bridge engineer; Al Johnson Construction Company, general contractor; American Bridge Company, superstructure; Hazelet and Erdal, consulting engineers. U.S. 41/MI 26 over Portage Lake
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

The twin-towered, double-deck, vertical lift bridge carries four highway lanes on the upper segment and a railroad track on the lower level across Portage Lake. When fully raised, the lift span provides a clearance of 104 feet for shipping. This bridge serves as a vital link joining the cities of Hancock and Houghton. The bridge replaced a steel swing bridge of 1905, which, in turn, replaced an earlier wooden swing bridge.

In 2005 the U.S. Department of Transportation designated U.S. 41 from Houghton to Copper Harbor, The Copper Country Trail, a National Scenic Byway. Its views offer forests, Lake Superior, and remnants of the first mining boom in the nation's history.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Houghton–Hancock Bridge", [Houghton, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 474-474.

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