William A. Irvin Restoration Details
Gone today but back next year! A long-time landmark and tourist attraction in Duluth's waterfront area is leaving its berth for some restoration work while it's slip also gets some necessary remediation work. The SS William A. Irvin will leave it's slip sometime Friday night for Fraser Shipyard in Superior - where it will spend the winter months being repaired.
The Irvin served United States Steel from 1938 until it was put out of service in 1978. After that point, it spent 8 years sitting in a West Duluth slip until it was moved front-and-center to it's current spot down by Canal Park and made into a tourist attraction. Along with the Aerial Lift Bridge, the Irvin is one of the signature visual attractions for the Twin Ports.
The move was instigated by an $11 million remediation project on it's present slip. A joint effort between the United States EPA and the State of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under the Great Lakes Legacy Act will use funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The work will take about 37,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment from the site.
Since the ship needed to be moved, officials decided to work on the corroded hull of the ship. Fraser Shipyard will apply a new coat of paint to help preserve the ship for generations to come.
The SS William A. Irvin is expected to return to its home slip sometime in Spring 2019.