Friday afternoon the Mackinac Bridge had to close for the third time this year. The second time due to falling ice.
It closed around 1:45 p.m. and didn’t reopen until after 5:00 p.m. causing miles of backups on both sides.
“Falling ice is falling from over 300 feet above their heads,” said Bob Sweeney, CEO of Mackinac Bridge Authority.
Some drivers had an extra-long trip on Friday. The bridge was closed for three and a half hours due to falling ice.
“In this particular case, a truck driver came in and said some ice fell on his truck and broke his window,” said Sweeney. “We immediately closed the bridge to all traffic."
Fortunately the semi-truck driver was not hurt, and Bridge Authority closed the Mackinac Bridge before something like that happened again.
“It happened so quickly that truck got hit by the ice so we had to react to it then there was still traffic on the bridge it took us probably about 15 minutes to close that northbound traffic,” said Sweeney.
While it wasn’t convenient for the bridge to close, business at Audie’s picked up and they had to call people in for extra help.
“When I came around the corner to get here I was just baffled by all the cars that were everywhere,” said Caaren Levander, a waitress at Audie’s.
Staff did their best to accommodate customers that stayed for hours during the shutdown.
"As soon as it opened, boy did we clear right out,” said Levander.
Bridge workers monitor weather conditions and pay close attention to freezing rain followed by warmer temperatures.
"We’re monitoring the weather conditions and the forecast and typically what happens, it’s either a sunny day or a day where it starts to warm up above freezing, that we expect the ice to fall," said Sweeney.
They encourage drivers to be patient and understand these closures are for their safety.
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