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The Mackinac Bridge

The Mackinac Bridge (pronounced with a silent "c"), is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Envisioned since the 1880s, the bridge was completed only after many decades of struggles to begin construction. Designed by engineer David B. Steinman, it connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south.


The bridge opened on November 1, 1957, ending decades of the two peninsulas being solely linked by ferries. A year later, the bridge was formally dedicated as "the world's longest suspension bridge between anchorages". This designation was chosen because the bridge would not be the world's largest using another way of measuring suspension bridges, the length of the center span between the towers— at the time that title belonged to the Golden Gate Bridge, which has a longer center span. By saying "between anchorage", the bridge could be considered longer than the Golden Gate Bridge, and also longer than the suspended western section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (That bridge has a longer total suspension but is a double bridge with an anchorage in the middle.)


The Mackinac Bridge is the longest two tower suspension bridge between anchorages (8,614 feet) (2,626 m) in the Western Hemisphere. Much longer anchorage-to-anchorage spans have been built in the Eastern Hemisphere, including the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan (12,826 feet) (3,909 m). However, because of the long leadups to the anchorages on the Mackinac, from waterline to waterline it is much longer than the Akashi-Kaikyo (5 mile compared to 2.4 mile).


The length of the bridge's main span is 3,800 feet (1,158 m), which makes it the third-longest suspension span in the United States and tenth largest worldwide.




On the National Register of Historic Places - added 1980 - #80004848


St. Ignace, Michigan

July 2007


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Taken on October 4, 2009