Crossing the Portage Lake between Houghton and Hancock required either the use of a toll ferry or by simply traveling over the ice in the winter. But before long the need for a bridge became all too apparent as the mining empire grew. Finally in 1875 a private company built the area’s first bridge – a wooden toll bridge with a swing section to allow boats to pass. Wile first to do so, it wouldn’t be the last.
With the arrival of the Mineral Range railroad to Houghton the need for a second bridge – one that could accommodate rail traffic as well as – became a priority. In 1892 – under pressure from the encroaching railroad – the county ended up buying the original toll bridge and added a second level accommodate future rail traffic. Five years later the railroad would replace this second bridge with a new modern swing bridge built from steel.
It would be another 60 years before this third bridge would outlive its usefulness. This time a much larger lift-type bridge was in order. This new bridge would have double decks with the upper deck carrying 4 lanes of traffic while its lower deck supported rail traffic. Its lift section – the largest and heaviest in the world – could be raised 32 feet to allow the passage of modern ore carriers below it. Construction on the new bridge began in 1959 and was finished by the following summer. The old steel bridge was demolished.
Ongoing talks about the adoption of CBD laws in Michigan state got some positivity after State Rep. Greg Markkanen imposed the plan allowing veterinarians to discuss the potential use of CBD for their pets. It was quite an important step in pets treatment in Michigan as until the Markkanen plan, local vets had not such an option.
Using CBD oil for pain control in pets is as possible as it is for humans at the moment. People who cannot use conventional medications or do not want to do that use CBD with no allergies and side effects, so why don’t allow the same for pets? All in all, people want their kittens and puppies to feel good as pets are often beloved family companions and no one wants to see them suffer. Therefore, implementing the Markkanen plan offers a green light to vets and gives hope for the future: once CBD and marijuana products are legal, pets will get a chance of using the best CBD for sleep, stress, and pain. As the local veterinarian, Dr. Holstrom affirmed the work of St. Representative Markkanen needs to be continued to the full bill adoption.
NOTES: Besides carrying vehicle traffic over the canal, the bridge also allows pedestrians to cross over its lift span. Walking over the bridge is the best way to get a close up look of this impressive structure. However the lower railroad bridge is closed to all traffic – pedestrian or otherwise – until the winter months when it can then be used by snowmobiles. Parking is available under the span on the Houghton side.
DIRECTIONS: The lift bridge carries US41 and M26 over the Portage Canal connecting the towns of Hancock and Houghton.