The Mackinac Bridge: Making Michigan, Michigan
May 12, 2007
The photo by rdmegr was taken from high above the Straits of Mackinac, the name for the narrow passage between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan. Lake Michigan is on the left and Lake Huron, the right with Mackinaw City (with a “w”) and the Lower Peninsula in the foreground and St. Ignace and the UP in the distance. It’s part of his Daytrip to Mackinac set of photos. Another photo from his flight to Mackinac of a freighter, the North Manitou Shoal Light and South Manitou Island was also blogged to Michigan in Pictures for general coolness and the fact that I heard his plane fly over my house.
I also have a confession to make: For months, I have been scared of the Mackinac Bridge.
This is distinct from the uneasiness that my mild phobia of falling off the Mackinac Bridge gives me when I drive over it.
I have been scared because 2007 is the 50th Anniversary of the Mackinac Bridge. To me, other than the lake-etched outline of our state, there is no greater symbol of Michigan than the Mighty Mac.
5 miles long, 552 feet tall in nearly 300 feet of water, the Mackinac Bridge has seen over 120 million crossings required 3 years, over 11,000 people and 4 million tons of concrete and steel to build. (more facts)
And that’s only the barest glimmer of the story that needs to be told. From its conception in the 1800s, through the difficult construction, all the way up to the people who cross it for business or pleasure every day with hardly a pause, the Bridge is an essential part of what joins Michigan’s two peninsulas as one state.
If you have some links to share, please add them in the comments. We’ll be telling the story of the Mackinac Bridge piece by piece here and on Absolute Michigan, and we’ll post links to all the photos, stories and videos on The Mackinac Bridge page at Absolute Michigan. (look for the button!)