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Mackinac Bridge is introducing a new machine to raise U.S. flag

Flickr User David Amundsen

The American flag flies over the Mackinac Bridge six days every year. The flag is thirty feet tall and sixty feet long and officials say it takes an entire crew of people to raise Old Glory. In the past, the bridge would shut down so the flag could be raised.

Kim Nowack is with the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

“The old process was done more by hand where we delivered the flag out to the job with a flatbed trailer and it took many of our employees to make sure it unrolled properly, was put up properly, and never hit the bridge deck.”

Nowack says 19-thousand dollar device is automated and unfurls the flag at the push of a button. She says the new process will only take a couple of employees and won’t stop traffic on the bridge.

Nowack says the device will be used for the first time on the Fourth of July. She says they’ll hoist the flag between 5:30 and 6:00am.