After the flood: Jay Cooke Park swinging bridge to reopen


It was 16 months ago that fierce flash-flooding devoured the iconic swinging bridge in Jay Cooke State Park.

But after a $1.1 million reconstruction project, the bridge is set to reopen, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Like the old bridge, the new 209-foot pedestrian suspension bridge doesn't exactly "swing," but it does offer a bouncing sensation, the newspaper reports. The bridge near the park's visitors center allows hikers to access to a 25-mile trail network on the south side of the St. Louis River.

The landmark bridge was originally built of logs and rope in 1924. Another span built in the 1930s was also wiped out by flooding, in 1950. The DNR also has pics of the older bridges.

The latest version of the bridge was designed to have a more retro look, with stone atop the support pillars, the Star Tribune reported.

The fallen bridge came to be one symbol of historic flooding in June 2012 that decimated parts of Duluth and other areas of the Northland. It was particularly destructive around Jay Cooke – the DNR has a photo gallery of the damage. MPR News has some stunning before-and-after photos.

This video gives you a sense of just how powerful the floodwaters were.

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A popular state park in Duluth that was closed for four months after devastating floods swept through Northeastern Minnesota is set to reopen Monday. Restrictions will remain in place at Jay Cooke State Park, however, since repairs have yet to be completed after the floods washed away roads, trails and bridges.