St. Ignace, MI - Building on the success of the 2018 event, the 2019 Mackinac Bridge Annual Walk on Sept. 2 will again allow participants to start from St. Ignace or Mackinaw City, walking half the bridge and back, the entire length, or even crossing it twice.
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 end of the bridge.
"The 2018 event was another big change for participants, but overall we heard many supportive comments from people about all of the new options and how peaceful it was on the bridge without vehicles," said Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary Kim Nowack. "We're hoping more people will give the walk a try this year and enjoy this state tradition."
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.
- 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 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, because walkers can start from either end of the bridge when they arrive, there will be no buses transporting participants across the bridge.
The bridge will again be closed to public traffic during the 2019 walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Labor Day, Sept. 2, 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.
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 in to this text alert system:
- Text "MacBridge" to 67283.
- Users will receive this reply, verifying participation in the text alerting system: "Welcome to Mac Bridge. Reply STOP MacBridge to Cancel. MSG & Data Rates May Apply MSG Frequency Varies."
- A second reply will follow: "Welcome to the Mackinac Bridge Text Alerting System. TO OPT OUT of this alerting system reply STOP MacBridge."