Meet the Steel Bridge

WHAT: The Steel Bridge, built in 1912

FUN FACT: The Steel Bridge has been around for 106 years, but there was actually another Steel Bridge that came before it. The original Steel Bridge was built in 1888, and yes, it swung open like a gate. Very cool.

WHY IT’S SPECIAL: The Steel has always offered lots of ways to get across it, from horse-drawn carriages and electric trolleys in the 1910s to pedestrian, bike, and MAX transit today. And it’s getting more popular, especially for cyclists. In 2000, about 500 bicycles crossed the Steel Bridge every day. In 2014, that was up to 4,500 — and if the city reaches its goal of having bikes account for a quarter of all commuter traffic by 2030, that number should go even higher.

The Steel Bridge is also the last operational “telescoping vertical-lift bridge” in the U.S., making it a bit of a celebrity in our book.

AND THE #STEELBRIDGE INSTA-GRAMMY GOES TO… joychastudio! Because unicorns.

QUOTABLE: “It’s an engineering marvel, the last of its kind in the United States. It’s no Empire State Building. But it’s ours.” —Tom Hallman Jr.

Flashback Friday is a weekly-ish series featuring people and events that shaped our city, and we’re binging on bridges right now. Read more about all our city’s bridges here.