ST. IGNACE (WWJ) — About 40,000 people are currently on the go as part of the 60th annual Mackinac Bridge Walk.
For the first time, regular traffic will not be allowed on the bridge during the walk. The bridge closed earlier today at 6:30 a.m. and will remain closed until noon. The decision to completely close the bridge was made after a number of recent incidents around the country occurred where vehicles became weapons against pedestrians.
Bridge officials say this is more out of precaution with no known threat posed against the annual event.
The last group of walkers will begin at 10:30 a.m. and officials will send out buses to pick up those who won’t be able to finish the walk by noon.
“It takes the average walker about 90 minutes to walk across the bridge,” Mackinac Bridge Authority’s Bob Sweeney told WWJ Newsradio 950. “We do realize for some people it takes longer so we will be sending a bus out there at about 11:30 a.m. for anyone who appears like they won’t be able to finish the walk by noon. We will load them onto the buses so we can resume traffic promptly at noon.”
Walkers begin the seven mile journey from the St. Ignace side of the bridge.
Heavy backups are expected on either side of the bridge during the span. However, Michigan State Police say they may divert traffic off I-75 northbound at Gaylord to avoid backups at the bridge.