Every Michigander is familiar with the Mackinac Bridge. It’s a true modern marvel, stretching across blue water to transport cars from the Lower to the Upper Peninsula. But the bridge is more than just a sight to behold: it boasts a fascinating history and is a perpetual point of pride for our state.
The Mackinac Bridge is a feat of modern engineering. It stands as the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth-longest of its kind in the entire world. In total, the bridge stretches 26,732 feet.
As it extends across the Straits of Mackinac, our stunning bridge hangs approximately 200 feet above the water. This makes for an incredible view during every crossing of the bridge.
The construction of the Mackinac Bridge was a feat in itself. Initial whisperings of a bridge to the Upper Peninsula started as early as the 1880s, but the project wasn’t approved until the 1950s.
Between 1954 and 1957, crews worked tirelessly on the treacherous build site. 3,500 construction workers and 350 engineers, in addition to upwards of 7,500 factory employees, labored relentlessly to create Michigan’s “Bic Mac.”
Today, visitors from across the world appreciate the breathtaking beauty of our beloved bridge. For many, crossing the bridge into the Upper Peninsula is a highlight of their trip through Michigan — this is evidenced in the hundreds of photos taken of the Mackinac Bridge each year.
The bridge has spawned nicknames and stories throughout the state. Residents of the Lower Peninsula are sometimes referred to as “trolls” by jokesters from the Upper Peninsula. Why? Because they live under the bridge.
Each Labor Day, hundreds of people make the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk from St. Ignace to Mackinac City. This is the only chance for pedestrians to walk the bridge, and it’s a must-do excursion for every Michigander at least once.
Our beloved bridge has it all: history, unbeatable views, manmade beauty, and a genuinely appreciated purpose. Without it, many of us might never experience the joys of the Upper Peninsula or cross the water at the Straits of Mackinac. So, Mackinac Bridge: for your steadfast strength and scenery, we thank you.
If you’re a Michigander, you’ve almost certainly visited our amazing “Big Mac.” Share your favorite Mackinac Bridge photos in the comments — we know you’ve got them!