Labor Day bridge walk sees changes
ST. IGNACE — There are some changes to the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk this year, including having it start from both ends of the bridge.
This will eliminate the need for buses transporting participants from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace.
“The biggest issue we faced last year was having to turn people away when we could not transport everyone to the starting point in time to participate,” said Bob Sweeney, executive secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority.
The bridge will be closed to public traffic during the walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon Eastern time Monday. For those looking to cross the bridge that day, travelers should be aware that if they arrive in the straits area during the walk they’ll need to wait until after noon to proceed. Northbound I-75 will be closed at Exit 337, and southbound I-75 and US-2 will be closed at Exit 344.
The walk begins at 7 a.m. No one will be permitted to start the walk after 11:30 a.m., so the bridge can reopen promptly at noon.
Starting the walk from both ends of the bridge also offers new options for participants. Walkers essentially have three main options:
— Starting from either end of the bridge and walking toward the center, turning around at the midpoint and returning to the city they started from. The turnaround points will move toward the ends of the bridge beginning at 10 a.m., but walkers can walk at least a portion of the bridge as long as they start by 11:30 a.m.
— Walking the entire length of the bridge, starting from either end. Those who choose this option must reach the midpoint before 10 a.m., or they will be turned back. Anyone who walks the entire bridge must arrange their own transportation back to the side from which they started once the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon.
— Walking the entire length of the bridge, starting from either end, and then turning around and walking back to the side from which they started. In this option, walkers will need to cross the midpoint on their return trip by 10 a.m., or they will be turned back and need to find their own transportation back across the bridge after it reopens at noon.