With Summer coming to the Twin Ports, people start sailing and using their vessels on the lake, and there are rules with the amount of times the bridge opens and who it opens for, the official word from the city is as follows.

The Aerial Lift Bridge will begin operating "summer hours" starting Friday, May 23rd. The bridge will lift on the hour and half hour between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., seven days a week until Labor Day. These bridge operations apply to all marine traffic less than 300 gross tons.

The Lift Bridge will open, upon request, from for Federal, state, and local government vessels, vessels in distress, commercial vessels engaged in rescue or emergency salvage operations, commercial-assist towing vessels engaged in towing or port operations, vessels engaged in pilot duties, vessels seeking shelter from severe weather, and all commercial vessels 300 gross tons or greater.

The U.S. Coast Guard approved the establishment of a new drawbridge schedule for the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge in 2011 to help reduce traffic congestion near the drawbridge during the peak navigation and tourist season.

Water vessels are reminded to maintain the posted slow-no wake speed in the entrance to the

Duluth Ship Canal. Slow-no wake speed is the minimum speed necessary to maintain steerage,

but in no case greater than five miles per hour unless in the case of:

(a) Emergency, enforcement or resource management personnel when acting in the

performance of their duties;

(b) Water or wind conditions which affect safety and steerage; or

(c) Avoiding a potential collision.