Mackinac Bridge Authority

Spanning the Straits of Mackinac since 1957

Why does my truck bed need to be empty during partial closures? Why can’t I have a tonneau cover? It stays on when I’m driving 75 on the expressway. What about camper awnings?

Posted on February 14th, 2023

Though our maximum speed limit on the bridge is 45 mph (and lower during high wind conditions), unfortunately we have seen many tonneau covers that stay on at freeway speeds come loose on the bridge. For whatever reason, high wind at the Straits seems to be stronger than tonneau fastening systems. When a tonneau cover comes loose, it can become a hazard for other motorists, a danger to our staff if they are called to retrieve it, or it’s just more trash blown into the Straits. The same is true for any items inside an open truck bed. For those reasons, we don’t allow them during partial closures.

Camper awnings are allowed during escort conditions; but as all campers are high-profile vehicles during partial closures, awnings aren’t called out separately in our policies. However, unsecured awnings do pose similar hazards during high winds, so we urge travelers to ensure their awnings are firmly secured and attached before crossing the bridge.

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