Mackinac Bridge Walk

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The 2008 Mackinac Bridge Walk

The Mackinac Bridge Walk is an annual event held every Labor Day since 1958 in Michigan in which people may walk the length of the Mackinac Bridge. Walkers are traditionally led across by the governor of Michigan, currently Rick Snyder. In an average year, 40,000 to 65,000 people participate in the five-mile walk. This is nearly the combined population of the three counties connected occupied by the bridge.

The Labor Day bridge walk is the sole exception to the rule prohibiting pedestrians on the bridge. At the beginning of the event, the two east lanes on the bridge—normally used for northbound traffic— are reserved for the southbound pedestrians, with the west lanes carrying two-way vehicular traffic. Walkers begin on the St. Ignace side of the bridge in the Upper Peninsula and walk south to Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula. Upon reaching Mackinaw City, walkers are awarded a numbered "Certificate of Completion." School buses shuttle walkers back to their cars.

After 9:30 a.m. pedestrians are narrowed into just one of the east lanes so that the other may be opened to northbound vehicular traffic. Both southbound lanes are then given over to southbound traffic, which is heavier on Labor Day. No one is allowed to start walking after 11:00 a.m.

History[edit]

The 2004 Mackinac Bridge Walk

The walk was started and took place in late June 1958 during the Bridge's dedication ceremony, led by Governor G. Mennen Williams. That first year only 68 people walked across the bridge. The walk was changed to Labor Day in 1959, and until 1964, participants in the walk alternated north and south in consecutive years.

Presidential campaign[edit]

During the 1992 election campaign, President George H.W. Bush led the bridge walk. Participation in this bridge walk was estimated at 85,000 walkers, which is the Mackinac Bridge Walk record.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°49′20″N 84°43′37″W / 45.8221°N 84.7269°W / 45.8221; -84.7269