"Mackinac Bridge is currently the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world. In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan became the longest with a total suspension of 12,826 feet. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere."
"All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to high winds. This would only happen under severe wind conditions. The deck would not swing or “sway” but rather move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing would slowly move it back into center position."
"The five-mile bridge, including approaches, and the world’s longest suspension bridge between cable anchorages, had been designed by the great engineer Dr. David B. Steinman. Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corporation’s $25,735,600 agreement to build all the foundations led to the mobilization of the largest bridge construction fleet ever assembled. The American Bridge Division of United States Steel Corporation, awarded a $44,532,900 contract to build this superstructure, began its work of planning and assembly. In U.S. Steel’s mills the various shapes, plates, bars, wire and cables of steel necessary for the superstructure and for the caissons and cofferdams of the foundation, were prepared. The bridge was officially begun amid proper ceremonies on May 7 & 8, 1954, at St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.
The bridge opened to traffic on November 1, 1957 according to schedule, despite the many hazards of marine construction over the turbulent Straits of Mackinac. The last of the Mackinac Bridge bonds were retired July 1, 1986. Fare revenues are now used to operate and maintain the Bridge and repay the State of Michigan for monies advanced to the Authority since the facility opened to traffic in 1957."
Above excerpts from the bridge website https://www.mackinacbridge.org/history/history-of-the-bridge
May 9th, 2019
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