old61 Historic U.S. 61: Lester River Bridge

Lester River Bridge

Located In: City of Duluth, St Louis County

Constructed: 1925

Historic Context: Historic concrete arch bridge, constructed as part of Congdon Blvd at the beginning of tourism on the north shore.

Also On:

Status: Intact. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Access: Part of State Highway 61.

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The Lester River Bridge on the north side of Duluth is a classic stone-faced concrete arch bridge constructed in 1925 at the beginning of development of the north shore highway. It was built by the city of Duluth as part of Congdon Boulevard - a highway along the north shore of Lake Superior between Duluth and the Lake County line, whose right-of-way was acquired by Chester A. Congdon (of Glensheen Mansion fame). It was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was given a face-lift in 2010.

The bridge marks the first point on Highway 61 where Lake Superior first comes into view , and has been called the "gateway" 1 to the north shore.



Photos - taken in April, 2010.

Approaching the Lester River Bridge, and the first view of Lake Superior on Highway 61 northbound.

The Lester River Bridge and the historic U.S. Fisheries Station (built in 1885-87).

Wider view of the bridge, with fishing action. Also note how the bridge's structure consists of a series of concrete ribs instead of one continuous arch.

A closer view of the bridge's stone facing.


  1. Gardner, Denis P. "Wood+Concrete+Stone+Steel: Minnesota's Historic Bridges, 2008.
  2. MNDOT Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory: Lester River Bridge. Accessed May 29, 2011.

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