Big Change for Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

FINAL INSTRUCTIONS, photo by Dave Trapp

Next Monday (September 4, 2017) is the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk, and you can click that link for all the details on the walk. This year is the 60th annual walk, and there will be a major change that the Northern Express explains:

“Because of threats happening across the country … We met with Homeland Security and the Michigan State Police, and it was decided that for the first time, we will not be allowing public [vehicle] traffic to drive across the bridge during the walk, for everyone’s safety and security,” said Bob Sweeney, executive secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA).

In prior years, the northbound bridge lanes were open to vehicles during the walk; this year, following incidents in London, Barcelona, and Charlottesville, Virginia, in which terrorists drove vehicles into crowds of pedestrians, the only vehicles allowed on the bridge will be law enforcement, emergency vehicles, and the shuttle buses that transport participants.

A total of 13 different law enforcement agencies — members of Homeland Security, the Michigan State Police, regional and local police, and the Native American Chippewa Tribe — will be on site for the event, including 240 troopers. Boats also will be deployed in the waters below the bridge.

Officials are quick to point out that there is no known threat to the event; they are simply taking precautions. Between 35,000 and 50,000 walkers are expected to participate.

Dave took this at the 2010 Bridge Walk which was attended by over 40,000 people. View it background big and see more in his Bridge Walk Weekend slideshow.

Lots more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!

Mackinac Bridge CLOSED 5 1/2 Hours on Labor Day!

2013 Mackinac Bridge Walk & Run, photo by Michigan Fitness Foundation

The Detroit Free Press reports that the Mackinac Bridge Authority voted unanimously yesterday to close the bridge to all traffic during the annual Labor Day bridge walk this year:

The bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to noon to all traffic, leaving an estimated 4,000 drivers stranded on either side of the bridge on one of the busiest traffic days of the year.

The action was taken at the request of the Michigan State Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are responding to threats posed by terrorists using vehicles to plow into crowds to inflict the most possible damage.

…Between 30,000 and 60,000 people participate in the annual 5-mile walk across the Mackinac Bridge that connects the state’s Upper and Lower Peninsula. Typically, the northbound lanes remain open during the bridge walk and an estimated 9,000 vehicles use the bridge during that time, Baker said.

Read on for more.

View the photo background big and see more in their massive 2013 Mackinac Bridge Run slideshow.

Tons more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures.

Underneath the Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge 1, photo by John McGraw

View John’s photo from beneath the mighty Mackinac Bridge bigger, see a few more from the Straits in his slideshow, and follow John McGraw Photography on Facebook to view & purchase more photos.

Icy Straits

icy-sraits-by-michigan-nut-phototography

Icy Straits, photo by Michigan Nut Photography

As I work on the year in review of the year’s top photos on Michigan in Pictures, I thought it would be cool to share regular contributor John McCormick’s favorite 2016 photos on his Michigan Nut Photography site. A couple made Michigan in Pictures this year and the choice of which one to feature was hard so check them all out!

View John’s photo bigger and purchase it as well and be sure to follow him on Facebook as well!

Bridge with a view

Bridge with a View

Mackinac Bridge from Michilimackinac State Park, photo by Todd Marsee, Michigan Sea Grant

Todd took this a couple of weeks ago from Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinac City. One thing that continually strikes me about Michigan is how easy it is to find space to enjoy our scenic beauty in relative isolation. What’s your favorite spot for quiet contemplation of Michigan’s beauty?

View Todd’s photo background big, see more in their Summer Fun slideshow and definitely follow Michigan Sea Grant on Flickr for all kinds of great pics from the Great Lakes!

Tons more about the Mighty Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!

2016 Chicago to Mackinac Sailing Race

Chicago to Mac Sailboats & Mackinac Bridge

Sailboats and Mackinac, photo by Alex Duncan

On July 23, 2016, over 350 sailboats will leave the Chicago Yacht club for the longest annual freshwater race in the world. 2016 marks the 108th annual Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac aka the Chicago to Mac. On their Race History page the CYC shares that:

Starting in 1898 with a mere five boats, The Mac has evolved into a world-class sporting event. After the first race in 1898, the Race to Mackinac was not held for five years until the second race in 1904. By 1906, the race had developed a healthy following and, in that year, the original Mackinac trophy was purchased. The race has seen occasional sustained violent weather in the blows of 1911, 1937 and 1970. After gale force winds took down most of the fleet in the Mac of 1911, the finish in the 1912 and 1913 races was changed to Harbor Springs on Little Traverse Bay instead of Mackinac Island. Race organizers felt the shorter distance was safer.

From 1914 until 1916 the Mac was back to its full distance until WWI. From 1917-1920 there were no Mac races due to the strains of the War, which took away yachtsmen and put many boats out of commission. Since 1921, the Race to Mackinac has run consecutively every year, remains the longest annual freshwater distance race, and is recognized as one of the most prestigious sailing races in the world.

Read on for lots more including an account of the first race. If you’re wondering when to catch a glimpse of them, Pyewacket set the monohull record in 2002 with a time of 23 hours, 30 minutes and 34 seconds. The race starts at noon on Saturday and usually takes between 40-60 hours to finish.

View Alex’s photo from 2011 background bigtacular and see more in his Pure Michigan slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Ice on the Straits of Mackinac

Ice in St Ignace

Last week in St. Ignace, photo by Thomas Nighswander

Doesn’t look like we’ll get an ice bridge for snowmobiles to Mackinac Island this winter.

Click to view the photo bigger and follow him on Facebook and at National Photography Workshops.

More ice on Michigan in Pictures.