61st Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk: What You Need to Know Before You Walk

The 61st Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk kicks off Monday morning but this year it will be a little different.

Similar to last year, the bridge will be closed to all traffic from 6:30 in the morning until noon, but what’s different about this year, walkers have the choice to start either north of the bridge in St. Ignace, or south of the bridge in Mackinaw City.

“We’re hopeful people are going to participate in this event and that it continues to carry on the tradition,” Mackinac Bridge Authority’s Bob Sweeney, said.

It’s a tradition that’s changed with the times, now no more traffic and no more buses, in part for safety, but also to make sure more people are able to walk.

“What we found last year is simply in that short amount of window that we had, that time that we had we couldn’t bus enough people across the bridge to allow them to participate,” Sweeney, explained.

Walkers will have to choose whether they want to walk the full length of the bridge or walk halfway and turn around, and time is a factor.

“One thing we really want people to know is to hit that center of the bridge by 10 a.m. or you are going to go back the way you are coming from, they are closing the center at 10 a.m.,” Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce Director Jamie Mersch, said.

The new changes will also allow for many firsts, including for some, who will be the new members of the “Double Crossers Club.”

“I think it’s going to be a good thing for the walk. People that want to do the whole ten miles, go all the way down and back,” Mersch, added.

It’s been a lot of work to this point to make sure the up north tradition continues.

“Our police and the bridge authority and the chambers and the visitor’s bureau’s everybody been working together on this all winter long.

More than 40,000 walkers are expected to participate.