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Mackinac Bridge to restrict traffic during Labor Day walk

Michigan Fitness Foundation
Annual Labor Day walk on the Mackinac Bridge, Sept. 2, 2013.

The Mackinac Bridge will be closed to most vehicle traffic during this year's annual Labor Day walk. That decision by the Mackinac Bridge Authority is due to concerns over a possible terrorist attack. 

The governor traditionally leads the five-mile walk that attracts 40,000 visitors or more.

State and federal homeland security officials recommended the closure because of terrorist actions across the world against large open-air gatherings.

Chris Kelenske commands the homeland security division of the Michigan State Police. He says there will be other heightened security measures. “More personnel are needed to respond with appropriate levels of force to mitigate any threats if, in fact, that does occur.”

Some say other open-air events around the world have been targets. They say Islamic groups are encouraging homegrown terrorists carry out their own actions. But the officials say no specific threat in Michigan has been identified.

“This is the greatest threat we face in Michigan," said Michigan State Police Lieutenant Brian Budde, "But let me be clear, at this time, there are no credible known threats in Michigan to this event or to any other events we have in our state.”

The bridge will be closed from 6:30 AM until noon on Labor Day.

The only vehicles allowed on the bridge will be busses to ferry walkers back to the starting point will be allowed on the bridge. So will emergency vehicles.  

Rick Pluta is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He is heard daily on WCMU's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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