close print view
G. Mennen Williams (1911-1988)
Construction of Michigan's famed Mackinac Bridge was a crowning achievement of the G. Mennen Williams administration during his six terms as governor (1949-1960). Starting with a campaign pledge in 1948, he led in building the legislative, financial and citizen support that culminated November 1, 1957, with the opening of the five-mile-long bridge that links the two peninsulas of Michigan. As governor, he was a strong supporter of the state's highway programs, pushing early in his administration for construction of a freeway network connecting population centers. He was an enthusiastic backer of bonding programs that enabled the state to borrow against future revenues and, starting in 1957, to become a national leader in building the interstate freeway system.
Michigan Transportation Hall of Honor, 1998