Renewing your driver license or getting new registration tags at a Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) branch this month? The Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) hopes you’ll pick up some information about the annual bridge walk closure to public traffic as well.
To help alert travelers to the bridge closure the morning of Labor Day, the SOS is displaying posters and a message on its Motor Vehicle Network video monitors in all 131 branch offices statewide.
“Labor Day weekend is a great time to travel and see new parts of our great state,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said. “We want all travelers to know that the bridge will be closed until noon on Labor Day, so please adjust your travel plans accordingly.”
It’s just one of many ways the MBA and other state agencies are notifying the public of the upcoming closure.
“We want to make sure everyone knows about the closure in advance, rather than unexpectedly finding stopped traffic Labor Day morning,” said MBA Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney. “Help from state agencies like the Michigan Secretary of State is invaluable in reaching as many people as possible.”
Updates have been posted to the Mackinac Bridge Authority website (www.mackinacbridge.org), MDOT’s website (www.michigan.gov/mdot), and Mi Drive, MDOT’s travel information site (www.michigan.gov/drive). The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will send e-mails regarding the closure to state park campground reservation holders, and the MBA will send updates to people who have signed up for e-mail alerts. Other state agencies are posting updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Unlike in prior years, only buses used to transport walkers to the starting point for the walk and emergency services vehicles will be allowed on the bridge during the event. All other vehicle traffic will be stopped from 6:30 a.m. to noon while event participants are on the bridge. The Authority made the decision during a special board meeting May 16, citing safety and security recommendations by the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Every year, between 30,000 and 60,000 people from several states and countries come to the Mackinac Bridge for the Annual Bridge Walk, which has taken place since 1958, the year after the bridge opened to traffic. The event will begin at 6:40 a.m. with the start of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Jog, followed by a greeting from Gov. Rick Snyder at 6:55 a.m. Walkers will begin across the bridge at 7 a.m.
For more information, visit the MBA website at www.mackinacbridge.org