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2023 Mackinac Bridge Walk just days away
September 01, 2023
ST. IGNACE, Mich. - The 2023 Mackinac Bridge Walk on Labor Day, Sept. 4, is just days away, and final preparations are under way.
"Whether you plan to cross the Mackinac Bridge in your car or RV, or you plan to join in the annual bridge walk, we want to make sure you have the information you need for a safe and enjoyable Labor Day holiday," said Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) Bridge Director Kim Nowack.
The bridge will again be closed to public traffic during the 2023 walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Labor Day, Sept. 4, based on recommendations from the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Emergency vehicles will still be permitted to cross the bridge, but no public vehicles until the walk concludes and participants are off the bridge.
"If you’re traveling in the Straits area Monday, we urge you to make your plans around this scheduled closure," Nowack said. "Traffic backups are frustrating for everyone, so we ask that you either cross the bridge prior to 6:30 a.m. or time your trip to arrive at the bridge after noon."
Based on the success of the recent events, the MBA will again start the 2023 Bridge Walk from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, which eliminates the need for busing and offers additional options for participants.
A video, posted on the MBA website at www.MackinacBridge.org/Walk, explains the bridge walk schedule and the choices people will have whether they start from the north or south ends of the bridge. Most participants have said they are comfortable with the new arrangements and enjoy the variety of options for participation.
Walkers essentially have three main options, outlined in the video:
- 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, where their transportation is located. 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 if they start by 11:30 a.m. Walkers must be on the side of the bridge they wish to return to before 10 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 they started from once the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon.
- Crossing the bridge, starting from either end, and then turning around and walking back to the side they started from. 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.
As in 2018-19 and 2021-22, because walkers can start from either end of the bridge when they arrive, there will be no buses transporting participants across the bridge.
People who are interested in receiving text messages about bridge closures, including closure information for the Annual Bridge Walk, can sign up for Mackinac County 911's RAVE Alert System updates. There is no cost to receive these updates, aside from any texting fees from the participant's mobile coverage plan. To opt into this text alert system, text "MacBridge" to 67283.
The bridge walk has been an annual event since 1958, with the exception of 2020 when the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 walk will be the 65th event. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people have participated in recent years; 26,000 participated in the 2022 event.