Monday, March 06, 2006

The Bridge- Are you a Fudgie or a Troll?

Mackinac Bridge
(Pronounced – Mackinaw)

Connecting Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas, the Mackinac Bridge carries Interstate 75 traffic.
Total length including approaches- 5 miles
Length of main span- 8,614ft (It is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world )
Total length of wire in main cables- 42,000 miles
Height of towers above water- 552 feet
Maximum depth of towers below water- 210 feet

To accommodate temperature changes, high winds and changes of weight on the Mackinac Bridge,. The deck can move right or left as much as 35 feet at the center span. Normal movement is much less, and not obvious to vehicles crossing the bridge. 31 expansion joints allow movement at the length os segments change with the temperature.

Ground was broken to build the Mackinac Bridge on May 7, 1954 and the bridge opened to the public (and the ferries were shut down) on November 1, 1957.

At the north end of the Bridge is Bridge View Park and the nearby Father Marquette Memorial. The Memorial is open only briefly during the summer.

At the south end is Fort Michilimackinac State Historic Park. The park entrance is actually underneath the Bridge. Each Memorial Day Weekend, the residents of Mackinaw City reenact the history of the 18th Century British French and Native American community. The Fort is open from early May until early October.

On Labor Day morning, two of the lanes are closed to traffic and 50-80,000 people, led by the Governor of Michigan, walk over the bridge. Normally bicycles are not allowed to ride across but the Big Mac Shoreline tour held in June and September includes a trip over the bridge.

Live Bridge Cam
Satellite Pictures
Mackinac 2001
Mackinac Island


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