Before the Interstate Bridge was built between Duluth and Superior in the late-1890s, the only way to get between the two cities was by ferry. Of course, ice prevented them from running in the winter. The Duluth-Superior Bridge Company, funded by the Great Northern Railway, was formed in 1894 to build a bridge connecting Connors Point in Wisconsin to Rice’s Point in Minnesota. Disagreements between the two cities delayed construction for years, and the bickering didn’t end once construction began. When the bridge opened on April 23, 1897, the first person to make the journey across the bridge found that the Superior side hadn’t been completed and he was forced to turn around. The bridge wasn’t officially completed until July.
A toll was collected from everyone crossing the bridge: pedestrians and bicyclists paid five cents, wagons and carts were fifteen cents, and each head of cattle cost a dime. These travelers crossed using a platform that hung off of the western side of the structure. Two parallel railroad tracks running down the center of the bridge carried trains and trolleys. Eventually, the bridge was refitted for automobile traffic. The streetcar line was removed in 1938, and by 1949 only one railway track was in use.