Duluth announces new bridge lighting policy, public reacts

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN -- Friday, Mayor Emily Larson announced the city’s new lighting policy for the Aerial Lift Bridge and Enger Tower.

“The lift bridge will be lit up for major holidays as well as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and then Enger Tower, it’ll have more of a process that you can actually request that that can be lit up,” said Duluth City Council President Arik Forsman.

The city will also light the bridge for the following holidays:

  • News Year’s Day
  • Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • Veterans Day

Enger Tower, on the other hand, will allow people to submit requests, with one fulfilled request per group allowed each year.

While Forsman did not draft the plan, he understands its goal and supports it.

“The bridge, really at its core is a piece of infrastructure and it is used for shipping and commerce; and so there are some safety considerations to not having it lit up all the time, but Enger Tower is a landmark and I think it makes a lot of sense for people to be able to submit their requests,” he said.

Some advocacy groups don’t agree with the new rule, however.

“That bridge is iconic and whether it’s breast cancer or ovarian cancer, colon cancer, it can be used in such great ways to raise awareness and save lives,” said Kristine Greer, with the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, or MOCA.

In past years, MOCA has used the bridge to spread awareness of Ovarian Cancer.

Greer said the Lift Bridge is a symbol of Duluth, and the best way to showcase their cause to the people of the Twin Ports.

In the past, Greer believes the lighting of the bridge has helped save lives.

“I started receiving emails from women saying ‘I saw the bridge teal, but I don’t know what that color was for. I investigated I realized I had the symptoms.’” Greer said.

KBJR6/CBS3 reached out to Mayor Larson for some clarity on the policy and how they drafted it, but she declined an interview, saying she believed the policy was already clear.

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