September 3, 2018
The Mackinac Bridge Authority, the St. Ignace Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Mackinaw Area Chamber of Commerce would like to make your Bridge Walk as pleasant as possible and offer the following information:
As it was for the 2017 Annual Bridge Walk, the Mackinac Bridge will be closed to public traffic form 6:30 a.m. to noon on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, to accommodate the 2018 Annual Bridge Walk.
No bus transportation across the bridge will be available this year. Walkers who decide to walk across the entire bridge will need to arrange their own transportation back to the end of the bridge where they started – after the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon.
There is limited parking space available west of the Mackinac Bridge Authority plaza area. Free parking and shuttle service is available at Little Bear East Arena.
There is no fee or registration required to participate in the walk.
The walk begins at 7 a.m. You may start walking any time after the governor’s party starts the walk at approximately 7 a.m. No one will be permitted to start after 11:30 a.m., so make sure you arrive early.
This year, the walk begins in St. Ignace at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula, and in Mackinaw City at the south end of the bridge in the Lower Peninsula. To participate in the walk you may:
- Walk from either end of the bridge, then turn around at the midpoint and return to the community where you started the walk. Beginning at 10 a.m., the turnaround point will be moved towards the ends of the bridge, but you may start walking up until 11:30 a.m.
- Walk from either end of the bridge, and continue across to the other side. This option is most like previous bridge walks. However, since bus transportation across the bridge will not be available, walkers who choose this option will need to arrange for their own transportation back across after the bridge reopens at noon. Walkers who do not reach the midpoint of the bridge before 10 a.m. will be turned back.
- Walk from either end of the bridge, continuing across to the other side, then walking back to the end of the bridge you started from. This options will mean a 10-mile round trip for participants. If walkers in this option do not reach the midpoint of the bridge on their return trip by 10 a.m. will be turned back.
Walkers will use the left-hand outside paved lane as they walk onto the bridge, regardless of which end of the bridge they start from. Walkers who turn back at the midpoint will turn right, then return using the opposite side outside paved lane. Walkers who choose to cross the entire bridge will stay in the left-hand outside paved lane all the way across.
The Michigan State Police and other official personnel will be available in the event of an emergency. Please note, there are no restrooms on the bridge and the average length of time to walk the bridge is about two hours. Portable toilets will be located in St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.
Baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed on the bridge during the walk. Prohibited items include signs, banners, umbrellas, bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, wagons and similar types of devices. With the sole exception of working service dogs, no animals are allowed. Walkers must stay away from bridge railings and the center mall which divides the walkers from the vehicular traffic. Except for pre-qualified, registered participants in the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Run, no running or racing is permitted on the bridge. Playing tag on the bridge is not permitted and no smoking on the bridge, please. For information on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Run, please go to www.michiganfitness.org or contact the Governor’s Council at 517-347-7891.
You will receive a numbered bridge walk certificate at the completion of your walk. Certificates will be distributed at both ends of the bridge.
Individuals under the age of 18 should have the permission of a parent or guardian to participate in the walk. Any two or more people walking together should make plans for a meeting place in the event that they become separated during the walk.
Disclaimer of liability: Before beginning the walk, all participants should carefully determine that they are physically fit and medically able to participate in the annual walk since the physical strain of the walk could lead to serious health problems. Participants should also understand that walking involves risks of injury from falls due to the surface condition of the bridge, contact with other participants, and the effects of weather including high heat and/or humidity. THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, MACKINAC BRIDGE AUTHORITY, ST. IGNACE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, MACKINAW AREA CHAMBER OR COMMERCE, AND ALL THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, VOLUNTEERS AND SPONSORS ASSUME NO OBLIGATIONS WITH REGARD TO SUCH RISKS AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY ARISING FROM ANY WALKER’S PARTICIPATION IN THE ANNUAL WALK.
As in the past, persons who need reasonable accommodations due to disability may contact the Mackinac Bridge Authority by Aug. 31, 2018 at 906-643-7600. TTY users may call the Michigan Relay Center at 800-649-3777.