Mighty Mac in Fog

Mighty Mac in the Fog, photo by Lake Superior Photo

Shawn writes that she crossed a very mysterious looking Mackinac Bridge on Sunday – no shortage of fog lately!

View the photo bigger on Facebook and see more & purchase prints in Lake Superior Photo’s Mackinac Bridge Gallery.

More fog & mist on Michigan in Pictures.

Mackinac Bridge, Michigan by Zack Schindler

Mackinac Bridge, Michigan by Zack Schindler

Zack says that he shot this in B&W with the red filter turned on in the X-E1.

View it big as the sky and see more in his My Other Stuff slideshow.

More black & white photography on Michigan in Pictures.

Shift Change at Mackinac Bridge

“Shift Change” – Mackinac Bridge construction, 1956, photo by otisourcat

What’s your commute looking like today? Mightymac.org has a great account of building the Mackinac Bridge, a process that began on May 7, 1954 and was completed November 1, 1957. It begins:

Construction of the Mackinac Bridge began with the construction of the pillars. Caissons were constructed, floated into position and sunk to provide the footings for the two immense towers which would suspend the center span of the bridge. Once the caissons were in place, creeper derricks were added, which raised materials to erect the towers and continued to climb higher.

The Mackinac Bridge roadway truss sections were assembled in sections and floated into position to be raised into place.

Constructing the Mackinac Bridge actually went on into 1958 and took 48 months, 3,500 workers, 895,000 blueprints & structural drawings, 71,300 tons of structural steel, 931,000 tons of concrete, 42,000 miles of cable wire, 4,851,700 steel rivets, 1,016,600 steel bolts and 99,800,000 dollars. There were 350 engineers and another 7,500 men & women worked at quarries, shops, mills and other locations.

When completed, the Mackinac Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world and it is currently the longest suspension bridge in North & South America and the third longest suspension bridge in the world.

Read on for lots more including excellent photos of the process and also see these photos of construction of the Mackinac Bridge from the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

otisourcat writes: This is a color slide, but the aged Ektachrome color is so wonky, that the image is much clearer in B&W. View the photo bigger and see more Mackinac shots right here.

There’s lots more Mackinac Bridge photos & info and lots more Throw Back Thursdays on Michigan in Pictures.

Yikes! I accidentally re-blogged a photo by Dave so I switched it out for the one below…

OPEN ARMS

OPEN ARMS, photo Dave Trapp

The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk has been held every year on Labor Day since the Bridge opened in 1957, which means the Bridge Walk is celebrating its 57th anniversary. Just 68 people took that first 5 mile walk across the Mighty Mac, but since the Governor began leading the walk, it averages 40,000 to 65,000 attendees.

Follow along for photos and updates at the Mackinac Bridge Facebook page and also jump on the Mackinac Bridge Cam for a live view!

View Dave’s photo bigger and see more shots from his walk in 2010 in his slideshow.

Lots more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!

Bridge_HDR2.jpg

Bridge HDR 2, photo by Allison Hopersberger

A calm night on the Straits of Mackinac, and Michigan’s signature bridge was looking fine!

I’ve posted a ton about the Mighty Mackinac Bridge here on Michigan in Pictures, but had never seen this excellent summary of how it came to be courtesy the Michigan Dept. of Transportation’s page on I-75 and the Straits of Mackinac:

The five-mile stretch of water separating Michigan’s two peninsulas, the result of glacial action some twelve thousand years ago, has long served as a major barrier to the movement of people and goods. The three railroads that reached the Straits of Mackinac in the early 1880s, the Michigan Central and the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway from the south, and the Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette from the north, jointly established the Mackinac Transportation Company in 1881 to operate a railroad car ferry service across the straits. The railroads and their shipping lines developed Mackinac Island into a major vacation destination in the 1880s.

Improved highways along the eastern shores of Michigan’s lower peninsula brought increased automobile traffic to the straits region starting in the 1910s. The state of Michigan initiated an automobile ferry service between St. Ignace and Mackinaw City in 1923 and eventually operated eight ferry boats. In peak travel periods, particularly during deer season, five mile backups and delays of four hours or longer became common at the state docks at Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.

With increased public pressure to break this bottleneck, the Michigan legislature established a Mackinac Straits Bridge Authority in 1934, with the power to issue bonds for bridge construction. The bridge authority supported a proposal first developed in 1921 by Charles Evan Fowler, the bridge engineer who had previously promoted a Detroit-Windsor bridge. Fowler’s plans called for an island-hopping route from the city of Cheboygan to Bois Blanc, Round, and Mackinac islands, thence to St. Ignace, along a twenty-four-mile route. The Public Works Administration flatly rejected a request for loans and grants to implement this project.

A plan was then drawn up for a direct crossing from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace, but they were again denied funds. In 1940, a plan was submitted for a suspension bridge with a main span of 4600 feet. This design was a larger version of the ill-fated Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, a structure destroyed by high winds on November 7, 1940. Although the disaster delayed any further action, the activities of 1938-1940 nevertheless produced some important results. The bridge authority conducted a series of soundings and borings across the straits and built a causeway extending out 4200 feet from the St. Ignace shore. The Second World War ended any additional work, and the Legislature abolished the bridge authority in 1947.

William Stewart Woodfill, president of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, almost singlehandedly resuscitated the dream of a bridge across the Straits of Mackinac. Woodfill formed the statewide Mackinac Bridge Citizens Committee in 1949 to lobby for a new bridge authority, which the legislature created in 1950. A panel of three prominent engineers conducted a feasibility study and made recommendations to the bridge authority on the location, structure, and design of the bridge.

The State Highway Department, which had just placed a $4.5 million ferryboat, Vacationland, into service at the straits in January 1952, remained hostile to the bridge plan. In April 1952, the Michigan legislature authorized the bridge authority to issue bonds for the project, choose an engineer, and proceed with construction. The authority selected David B. Steinman as the chief engineer in January 1953 and tried unsuccessfully to sell the bridge bonds in April 1953, but by the end of the year, the authority had sold the $99.8 million in revenue bonds needed to begin construction.

View Allison’s photo bigger and see LOTS more in her Mackinac Island slideshow!

Opening of Mackinac Bridge - November 1, 1957

Opening of Mackinac Bridge – November 1, 1957, photo by daveumich

An Absolute Michigan feature via Michigan History Magazine on the opening of the Mackinac Bridge on November 1, 1957 says (in part):

With the bridge ready for traffic, but fearing inclement autumn weather at the Straits, officials decided to have an official “opening” on November 1, 1957, but an official “dedication” in late June of the following year.

Amazingly, the weather on the first day of November (preceded by two days of rain and fog) was sunny and pleasant. However, the weather in late June was so cold and wet (with six-foot waves on the Straits) that some of the events were shortened or canceled altogether. According to one observer, it “was a bleak, gray day, more like March than June, and the only parader who looked happy was a snow queen from Cadillac, who rode on an ice throne float, throwing snowballs made of popcorn.”

…On November 1, after paying the $3.25 toll (taken symbolically by former U.S. Senator Prentiss Brown, who chaired the Mackinac Bridge Authority), Governor G. Mennen Williams crossed the bridge (driven in a car by Mrs. Williams because the governor had forgotten his driver’s license). Then, according to United Press International correspondent Thomas Farrell, cars lined up for one mile on both sides of the Straits “swarmed” on to a bridge whose size “staggers the imagination.”

In his opening day remarks, Governor Williams predicted that the bridge would add $100 million annually to the state’s tourist trade. He continued, “Michigan at last is to be one state, geographically, economically and culturally, as well as politically.”

I think we can probably agree that it’s had a tremendous impact on Michigan! About this photo with a unique view of the festivities, Dave writes:

A friend found this large format color slide earlier this year and I scanned it at high resolution. It shows Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams at the tollbooths on the St. Ignace end of the Mackinac Bridge on the day it opened, November 1, 1957. I have seen many photos of this day, but never one quite like this.

Be sure to check this out big as the Mighty Mac to see the faces in the crowd and jump into Dave’s slideshow for more.

Michigan in Pictures has lots more on the Mackinac Bridge and you can get a comprehensive look at the bridge on the 50 Year feature on the Mackinac Bridge at Absolute Michigan.

FULL

FULL, photo by ddt_uul

The annual Labor Day Bridge walk across the Mackinac Bridge takes place this Monday (September 2, 2013). UpNorthLive reports that you can turn your Labor Day bridge walk into a one of a kind experience with a trip to the top of the Mighty Mac!

More than 40,000 people are expected to participate in the 56th Annual Labor Day Bridge Walk which will take on Monday, Sept. 2.

For the second year in a row, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Mackinac Bridge Authority are asking the public to share their Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk experiences on social media with photos and videos. One person sharing their memories will be chosen at random to receive a once-in-a-lifetime tour to the top of the Mackinac Bridge.

Through Monday, Sept. 9, you can post your memories of walking the bridge, either this year or in a previous year, on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MightyMacWalk13. Memories can include photos or videos.

A lucky person whose entry is chosen at random by computer will receive a tour for two to the top of the bridge, courtesy of the MBA. The person who travels the furthest to walk the bridge this year and post a memory will win a Pure Michigan gift pack, courtesy of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Read on for more and check out the pics on Twitter and Instagram. Get all the details on the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk from the Mackinac Bridge Authority. If you want to see what it looks like from the top, check out my friend Spike’s Mackinac Bridge slideshow!

Dave took this shot on Labor Day, 2010. Check it out background big and see more in his great Mackinac Bridge Walk slideshow.

Much more on the Mackinac Bridge at Michigan in Pictures!

Bridge at Twilight 1562-12

Bridge at Twilight 1562-12, photo by StacyN – MichiganMoments

Right now thousands of people are participating in the Mackinac Bridge Walk, an Michigan tradition that began on Labor Day of 1958 and has continued every year since then. While just 68 people made that first walk, it now averages over 50,000 people. You can tune in for some shots from the Mackinac Bridge Cam and see one from this morning on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook.

If you’d like a little Labor Day reading, I heartily recommend How Labor Won Its Day from the Detroit News Rearview Mirror.

See Stacy’s photo bigger and see some more cool shots of this Michigan icon in her Mackinac Bridge slideshow.

Much (much) more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!

rolling fog

rolling fog, photo by Through My Eyes. [nicole wamsley]. astra_amara.

Much more of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures.

Check this out bigger in Nicole’s if by sea… slideshow.

Mackinac Bridge Sunset

December 4, 2010

Mackinac Bridge  Sunset

Mackinac Bridge Sunset, photo by GLASman1.

From high above the Straits of Mackinac

Check it out background big and in Mark’s slideshow.

More Michigan aerial photographs from Michigan in Pictures.

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