Walbec Group

    • Houghton Lift Bridge Devlin Huhta
    • Houghton Lift Bridge Devlin Huhta
    • Houghton MI ZTI Bridge Maintenance 40

Portage Lake Lift Bridge (Houghton Hancock Bridge)

Built in 1959, the Portage Lake Lift Bridge is the heaviest and widest double-deck bridge in the world and the only one of its kind in Michigan. This $3.9M structural, mechanical, and electrical bridge rehabilitation project began in November 2020 and was completed in May 2022. The work was completed under staged construction throughout the project, with operations at ground level to 140' in the air on the bridge towers. The bridge is the only connection between the mainland and the Keweenaw Peninsula, connecting the cities of Houghton and Hancock, seeing an average of 25,000 vehicles per day.


  • Removal and replacement of motors, finger joints, air buffers, and structural steel.
  • Repair of high-load hits on the existing operating room.
  • Replacement of portions of the deck grating on the lift span.
  • Interior painting of the machine rooms in the bridge towers

The bridge was dedicated as a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on June 17, 2022.



Houghton, MI


Michigan Department of Transportation