Heard on All Things Considered

Mackinac Bridge Turns 59

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Image credit: Pat Batcheller

The Mackinac Bridge opened 59 years ago as the largest suspension bridge in the world.

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Pat Batcheller
Pat Batcheller

The Mackinac Bridge turns 59-years-old Tuesday. 

When the bridge opened in 1957, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It lost that title in 1998, but still reigns as the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

Bob Sweeney is the CEO and secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority. He says before the bridge was built, cars could only travel to the Upper Peninsula by ferry.

The Mackinac Bridge actually provides a physical link where you can drive your car all the way from Detroit all the way up to Houghton or over to Ironwood,” Sweeney says.

Sweeney says the bridge averages about 12,000 cars per day, or as many as 35,000 on a busy weekend in the summer.


Bre'Anna Tinsley, Reporter

Bre’Anna Tinsley is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, providing news spots and features. She’s an expert in “Friends” trivia.

btinsley@wdet.org Follow @Bre_Tin

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