2018 bridge walk will start in both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace
The Mackinac Bridge Authority announced their plans to best address the logistical complications caused from completely closing the bridge to traffic during the 2017 Labor Day bridge walk.
For the 2018 Labor Day bridge walk the bridge will remain closed to traffic, participants may start from whichever end of the bridge they arrive, walk halfway across, and then turn around.
Mackinac Bridge officials are calling it the U-walk.
Bob Sweeney is the chief executive officer for the Mackinac Bridge Authority. He said it was tough to make a decision.
“We did not have a unanimous vote. Two of the board members did not vote for the U-walk. Talking to both of those members their option would have been to cancel the bridge walk just for primarily the cost had escalated quit a bit especially with the bussing options”.
Sweeney said bussing participants across the bridge caused complications in 2017 and the U-walk eliminates the need for busses.
“Staff thought the U-walk option was the most safe option and addressed all the concerns. It didn’t limit the participation level, it was the safest of all the options, and it was by far the least expensive option. It was probably our best chance to preserve this walk into the future”.
Sweeney said people may still walk the entire bridge if they choose, but they will be responsible for their own transportation back across.
“We do anticipate that several thousand people will walk all the way across the bridge and primarily most of those people will probably be bussed up to the start of the walk. We do anticipate that both communities will do that and some private busing companies as well”.
Sweeney said the bridge will close to traffic at 6:30 a.m., and walkers will be able to start anytime between 7:00 a.m. and noon.