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.

Atop the Mackinac Bridge, photo courtesy Google Trekker

Pure Michigan announced a cool new way to experience some of Michigan’s scenic treasures:

Through a partnership between Pure Michigan and Google, many of Michigan’s iconic destinations are now accessible to people all around the world through Street View in Google Maps. Google’s Street View Trekker is a backpack system with a camera on top that is worn by an operator who walks through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot – or in the case of some Michigan locations by kayak. The imagery is captured automatically and stitched together to create the 360 degree panorama seen on Google Maps.

More than 44,000 panoramic photos were taken by members and volunteers on the Pure Michigan team and the Department of Natural Resources who borrowed the Trekker and traveled for four weeks, capturing breathtaking scenes around Michigan, including this stunning view from the top of Mackinac Bridge.

Click through for a video introducing the partnership and a bunch of panoramic scenes from the State Capital to Mackinac Island to the Sleeping Bear Dunes to Tahquamenon Falls. Be sure to check out the behind the scenes for this pano as well!

Mackinac Bridge Walking Down the Cables

Office with a View, photo by MDOT Pic of the Day

Discovered the Michigan Department of Transportation’s MDOT Pic of the Day Instagram yesterday. The other day they posted this photo of an unidentified Mackinac Bridge employee out for a stroll:

One thing about working on the #MackinacBridge, your office has a good view. :)

Indeed!

View the photo bigger and follow them on Instagram.

PS: From the Full Circle Department, a couple of days ago Michigan in Pictures regular Rudy Malmquist shared a link to some photos of the Coast Guard Cutter HollyHock breaking the ice under the bridge!! Click that link to see page through them on Facebook.

More of the Mighty Mac on Michigan in Pictures.

 

Bridge to the North

February 7, 2015

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge, photo by Dan Moran

If you want to call this the world’s most beautiful bridge, you’ll get no argument from me.

View Dan’s photo background bigtacular and settle into his slideshow for a couple more amazing shots from Michigan. Then – because everyone needs a vacation every so often – keep watching for some jaw-dropping pics from Alaska. Seriously: wow, wow, WOW.

There’s lots more winter wallpaper and lots more of the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!, photo by Spring Disney

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
~Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s hoping for health & happiness for all of you, but also a mistake or two as the incomparable Mr. Gaiman prescribes.

Spring Disney shared this photo from Elizabeth Park in Trenton for the 2011 New Year. View it bigger on Flickr and see more (including some absolutely stunning owl photos) in her My Favorites slideshow.

More bridges and more New Year on Michigan in Pictures.

Over the River…

November 25, 2014

Wintry Seven Bridges

Wintry Seven Bridges, photo by Heather Higham

AAA Michigan reports that about 1.5 million Michiganders are heading over the river and through the woods for the Thanksgiving holiday. The good news is that gas prices are the lowest since 2009 – down 40 cents from last year. The bad news is another weather system that’s dropping freezing rain & snow, closing schools and

View Heather’s photo bigger and see more in her Rivers slideshow. She took the photo at the Seven Bridges Natural Area near Kalkaska.

There’s more rivers and more bridges on Michigan in Pictures.

Cut River Bridge

Cut River Bridge and Fall Color, photo by Manistique Michigan

The page on the Cut River Bridge at Historic Bridges begins:

Among Michigan’s largest and most well-known historic bridges is the iconic Cut River Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This bridge is large enough that MDOT actually has maintained this bridge as an area attraction. Surrounding the bridge is a roadside park and a series of trails around the bridge. The intent to make this bridge something more than just a crossing goes back before this bridge’s status as a historic bridge to its initial construction. The bridge was designed as an attraction even when it was built, since sidewalks above the bridge in this rural area are present. Also, a set of stairways, part of the original design, take pedestrians under the bridge where they can view the supporting trusses. The abutments and piers were also given unusually exceptional detail, in particular the use of decorative stone facing. The two main piers give the appearance are attractive cut stone arches.

The bridge includes a total of 888 tons of steel and its height over the Cut River is 147 feet. It offers views of Lake Michigan from its deck. The bridge was originally painted a silver color, but is today painted green. This bridge is a steel deck cantilever truss bridge. This structure type is much more common in more hilly states like Pennsylvania, but is extremely rare in Michigan. The structure has visual complexity as a result of the extensive lattice and v-lacing on its riveted, built-up members, which are all very massive, typical for both a bridge of its size and its age. The bridge retains original standard-plan metal guardrails (Michigan’s “signature” type R4 railings) on the sidewalks that flank the roadway on each side. It also retains standard Michigan State Highway Department plaques.

Read on for lots more about this bridge that was constructed in the early 1940s. If you do make it to Cut River, do yourself a favor and hike down – it’s very cool!

View the photo bigger and see lots more autumn splendor at the Manistique Facebook page. and learn about the community at Manistique.com.

More bridges on Michigan in Pictures!

 

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