Mackinac Bridge – St. Ignace, Michigan
Are you interested in seeing what some consider to be the “8th wonder of the world?” If you are then you need to go to St. Ignace in Michigan and see the Mackinac Bridge.
The bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western Hemisphere with 7,400 feet of 4 lane highway suspended over the Straits of Mackinac.
The Golden Gate Bridge is 950 feet shorter than the Mackinac Bridge.
The bridge is a critical transportation link between Michigan’s two peninsulas and is responsible for the huge flow of tourism and economic growth to the area.
The total length of the bridge, including its approaches, is approximately 5 miles over 34 water piers. The two main towers extend 552 feet above the water and go down 210 feet below the surface of the water into a base of bedrock.
While on the bridge you will be able to seed Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron to the east. You will also be able to see Mackinac Island and its Grand Hotel from the bridge.
Driving across the bridge you will be able to see the freighters pass under you. Seeing the size of these ships will help you realize just how immense the structure truly is.
Make sure you spend a little time around the area at night so you can see the “Might Mac” light up the Straits of Mackinac.
The bridge opened to traffic in 1957 after a many year struggle to get the necessary funding approved. The American Bridge Division of United States Steel Corporation, awarded a $44,532,900 contract to build this superstructure, began its work of planning and assembly. In U.S. Steel’s mills the various shapes, plates, bars, wire and cables of steel necessary for the superstructure and for the caissons and cofferdams of the foundation, were prepared. This accomplishment took the skill and ability of many people in many different rolls to get accomplished.
IN June of 1998 the count of people that had crossed the bridge was 100 million. In 2008 through the month of August there were 2,538,559 vehicles that crossed the bridge.
Fees: Passenger vehicle – $1.50 per axle or $3 per car. All other vehicles are $3.50 per axle.
For your pleasure here is Dr. David B. Steinman’s poem “The Bridge at Mackinac”.
The Bridge at Mackinac
In the land of Hiawatha,
Where the white man gazed with awe
At a paradise divided
By the straits of Mackinac
Men are dredging, drilling, blasting,
Battling tides around the clock,
Through the depths of icy water,
Driving caissons down to rock.
Fleets of freighters bring their cargoes
From the forges and the kilns;
Stones and steel – ten thousand barge-loads –
From the quarries, mines, and mills.
Now the towers, mounting skyward,
Reach the heights of airy space.
Hear the rivet-hammers ringing,
Joining steel in strength and grace.
High above the swirling currents,
Parabolic strands are strung;
From the cables, packed with power,
Wonder-spans of steel are hung.
Generations dreamed the crossing;
Doubters shook their heads in scorn.
Brave men vowed that they would build it –
From their faith a bridge was born.
There it spans the miles of water,
Speeding millions on their way –
Bridge of vision, hope and courage,
Portal to a brighter day.