Stewart Creek Railroad Bridge on DWP Trail in Duluth

What’s your favorite rickety old bridge in Duluth? Mine is called “Ass Bridge.” At least, that’s what I call it, for reasons that will become obvious if you read on. It’s an old railroad bridge over Stewart Creek in western Duluth. The northeastern side of the bridge is in the Riverside neighborhood, the southwestern side is in the Smithville neighborhood.

In order to be a really great bridge, a certain amount of danger must be involved in crossing it. Any warnings of that danger, such as orange fencing, must be removed.

A few of the wooden ties are loose on this bridge, but the missing railing is its finest element.

It’s also a good thing for the bridge to be high enough that falling from it guarantees serious injury or death.

Random nails sticking out here and there are a must.

Missing planks and tangled wire also add much to the experience.

It’s also good if a weak attempt has been made to keep people off the bridge, and it ends up being mocked.


Tim K

about 15 years ago

My least favorite rickety bridge is the George Washington Bridge across the Hudson into New York. The first time I drove to NYC (yeah, I'm crazy -- driving to NY, what a loon!) I was crossing the GW into Brooklyn. There were cars behind me, cars in front of me and cars on either side and we were all doing about 70 mph. Suddenly, up ahead I see a single orange cone (yes, this violates Paul's parameters). With seconds to spare I manage to squeeze into the left lane and as we pass the cone, we see that it is marking a hole in the bridge deck approximately 9 feet wide and 20 feet long. A hundred some odd feet below is the Hudson. I marvel at the frugality of a single orange cone and my heart still skips a beat when I think about how close I came to buying the farm.


about 15 years ago

Actually, the George Washington Bridge crosses the Hudson River to Jersey, not the Hudson to Brooklyn.

Tim K

about 15 years ago

It goes both ways.


about 15 years ago

The G.W. Bridge connects New Jersey and Manhattan.

If you were entering Brooklyn via bridge, I think you were crossing the East River over either the Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn is a long way from the G.W. Bridge.

Tim K

about 15 years ago

My final destination was Brooklyn. Yes, went to Manhattan first. It definitely cross the Hudson. Okay. Now, any OTHER bridges anybody wants to yak about here?


about 15 years ago

I remember being a bit nervous when driving across this Thunder Bay bridge. ( -- not my photo).

It's on the south side of town. I remember there being a lot of traffic, and trains around, and having to weave across the tracks ... not sure about ruts, though.

The International Falls-Fort Frances bridge also makes me nervous. Not because it's rickety, but because of the train tracks, and the weird turns, and the congestion ... and customs and a toll on top of all that.


about 15 years ago

There's another rickety bridge leading to Riverside: it connects the two sections of Spring Street, coming off of Grand Avenue. It's been almost fifteen years since I last crossed it, so I can't comment on signage, but it was pretty ramshackle back then.

I was very saddened when I crossed the remodeled Oliver bridge last month. It used to be so fun to drive across, though not worthy of this post.

Once when I was in Thunder Bay, I came to a bridge that was not rickety, but scary nonetheless. It was concrete, and there were molded ruts where your tires would go. Every few feet, sticking up out of the wheel ruts, was a rounded iron spike. I wanted to turn around, but there was a cop behind me who wanted to get across and there wasn't enough room to pull aside. I drove across. Does anyone know anything about this bridge?

The Big E

about 15 years ago

The old Interstate Bridge was a bit beat-up at times.


about 15 years ago

Nice photo essay.


about 15 years ago

I agree with Ramos.  

I miss the old Oliver bridge and the old arrowhead bridge, too.  I have only faint faint memories of crossing it as a kid before it was removed for bigger and better things.  There was a toll on it if I remember right.  Less faint are the memories of going down by arrowhead to watch the disorganized street races in the late 80s and maybe slightly into the early 90s.  There was a perfect abandoned road for just that thing when the bridge was gone.  I have no idea where kids race these days, maybe they don't do it at all.


about 15 years ago

There's a rickety foot bridge behind Wheeler Field that I'm fond of.


about 15 years ago

I was really sad when the Oliver bridge was "upgraded" a few years ago.  Growing up in Gary and fishing off "the tracks" with dad was always a highlight of summer weekends.  Sometimes he would even give in to my, ahem, 'requests' to cross that rickety old bridge.  Granted, it was usually to get smokes or vodka, but still...


about 15 years ago

Okay, the Huey P. Long Bridge outside of New Orleans.  We were camping  back in 2001 in a state park outside of N.O. and to get into N.O. proper we had to cross the bridge - you drove up onto it - one lane of traffic going south, one lane going north & train tracks or tressel down the middle of the bridge with a train slamming through daily when one crossed the bridge.  The traffic lanes were so narrow that you could almost touch the guard rail as your car moved along the bridge.  We didn't do that tho : )  A view a long way down into the Mississippi where the barges and fishing boats were docked along the levees.

It was a trip, needless to say. . . : )


about 15 years ago

When I go out my back porch I walk on the boards that I salvaged from the Arrowhead Bridge.  I had the contract to take out the center lift spans, wonderful bridge. still solid from when I took them off back in '82 or '83


about 14 years ago

The old rail bed in west Duluth is easily accessible by the zoo and there are great trails over there. Just watch out for dirtbikes and fourwheelers traveling at mach speeds.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

2018 update: Rickety no more.

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