Feb 18-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: February: Feb 18-06
Wintry Big Mac    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Stanley Spruce

Toivo from Toivola (Toivo) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 08:52 am:

No matter the season, the fascination with the Mackinac Bridge never seems to end. For many it's a sign that they're almost home, UP North and to others it's an exciting part of the journey to places further south. Stanley Spruce made a stop underneath the bridge and snapped a different perspective from Fort Michilimac's parking area. Neat how the towers on the bridge seem to be reaching up into the clouds. Driving over the structure, you really don't get the perspective of the true height, as when you walk across and really take it all in at a slower pace. It's then you realize just how high above the water you are and the reach to the sky those towers make!

Wah! Is it cold this morning! They say the wind chill got down to -40 below last night! Anybody heard if they actually ran the UP 200 last night?


JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY (Username) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:10 am:

I had an image like this in my head last night,I guess you could say I was dreaming of a white "isthmus".

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:10 am:

Crossing over the Mighty Mac is like taking a journey to a whole new world!

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:19 am:

Good one, John and Anne!

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:25 am:

I have heard stories about cars that have been blown off and over The Mac due to high winds...curious as I am, is this true? Everytime we traveled over the bridge, we were lucky to see freighters sailing underneath, simply awesome!!

By Kevin E. Musser (Copperrange) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:29 am:

Your comment on the page that the Mighty-Mac is the "longest suspension bridge in the world" is incorrect. The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan is the longest. The Mighty-Mac is the 10th longest in the world. 2nd longest in the USA after the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York.

By Kelly Marshall (Kelly) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:33 am:

Wasn't "our" bridge the longest when it was first built?

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:46 am:

Oh how I love the Mighty Mac...definately reminds me of home :) I have several pics of the Mighty Mac on my bulletin board in my office, that I have used as inspiration, while I work on this current case.

Bobbysgirl, there was only one car that went over the Mighty Mac...and I believe it was right around 1990. A woman was traveling north on the Mighty Mac, in a Yugo, and she went over the guardrail. From what I remember, there was controversy about whether or not she had been speeding.

By 69 TOOT (Flyindamooney) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:46 am:

One car.........a YUGO........and they think the driver might have been distraught.....I'll bet she was, just before hitting the water.....High profile vehicles are kept off the bridge during high winds.........

By Kevin E. Musser (Copperrange) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 10:35 am:

Kelly, not even when it was built. The Golden Gate is over 100ft longer, built in 1937

By Kevin E. Musser (Copperrange) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 10:53 am:

I guess I should clarify. The Big Mac is the longest suspension bridge in the world in Total Length, from shore to shore at 26,372ft (5 miles). 12th longest in total length but the longest of a suspension type bridge. The suspension portion is 8,614ft in length, making it the 10th longest. I guess I am being nick-picky this morning.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 10:54 am:

I just love good ole "Mighty Mac". I remember one winter driving over it to get to a wedding, it was so windy and blustery that I was terrified driving across it. They shut it down right after we got across. Thank you very much! Oh well, we made it. That's what counts. My husband has yet to have the privilege of seeing it. One of these days we'll get down there to go to Mackinac Island. He'll love it eh?:)

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 10:57 am:

Thankyou for the Yugo info! That's freightening!

By Dotsie Salani Stewart (Suna) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 10:59 am:

Bridge to Paradise!!
Love it when the tires hit the UP side!!!
We always cheer for the event!!

By james f. haven (Technoido) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:08 am:

Warning: the following post has not pretty stuff in it. I will stand
chastised as necessary, perhaps by later posters. But it did

I believe Toivo's comment was (0n the page before this one), "at
one time the longest suspension bridge in the world". Regarding
the Golden Gate, aren't we longer between towers? or including
approaches, or something. Come on, help me here.

In addition to the Yugo, there was sometime later, A SUV that
pitched itself over the rails, there was some report that alcohol
was involved. Hung on part of the bridge, and then plunged to
the ice below.It was rumored that the driver was still alive at that
point, but succombed soon thereafter.

When the wind warnings are up, BE CAREFUL! I've been in a high
profile (empty) truck crossing the MAC with an escort. They
wisely regulate your speed, but really couldn't do much if you
went over. At least they'd know exactly where you left the deck.

Oh, the Mighty Mac, my heart beats faster everytime I see it. I
remember the ferries. One year as we were heading UP , just as
we reached the exact middle of the bridge, the skies went from
gray to bright sun. No Lie! People who haven't crossed it, just
don't know what their missing.

By Bruce Jackson (Bessemerbj) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:16 am:

I hope I don't offend anybody but weeks after the Yugo flipped off the bridge they made a 4 door version of that car. They called it the Wego.

By james f. haven (Technoido) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:17 am:

Ok, so while I was composing (pecking out) my post, Copperrange
did the clarification. Thanx. Good to see so many people up this
morning. Here in Ann Arbor, we're at 2 degrees and sunny, love it,
but my gas bill doesn't.

By Kevin E. Musser (Copperrange) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:18 am:

James, Toivo changed the title and added "at one time", since my posting, which is still incorrect. It is the longest suspension bridge in the world in Total Length.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:32 am:

From the "horse's mouth (Mackinac Bridge Authority) FAQ:"


Is the Mackinac Bridge still the longest suspension bridge in the world?
The Mackinac Bridge is currently the third 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 Great Belt Bridge in Halsskov-Sprogoe, Denmark, which also opened in 1998, is the second longest suspension bridge in the world with a total suspension of 8,921 feet. The Mackinac Bridge is still the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. The total length of the Mackinac Bridge is 26,372 feet. The length of the suspension bridge (including anchorages) is 8,614 feet. The length from cable bent pier to cable bent pier is 7,400 feet. Length of main span (between towers) is 3,800 feet.

dlp (Babyseal) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:36 am:

Hello everyone! BRRR the bridge looks absolutely beautiful but cold! The first time I crossed the Big Mac I was a passender on a motorcyle! It was thrilling, looking through the grates to the lake down below! I would love to take the walk some day. Sorry to say, the thrill of crossing the Portage Lift Bridge isn't quite the same. Maybe it's because I am usually crossing it to get to work :(
Hey Kevin, when are you going to cross the Big Mac and live up here in God's country?

By Justin Johnson (Tinksno) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:45 am:

Welcome back old man winter. Good to see you returned. This snow starved Yooper stuck in troll land sure is happy to see the snowmobiles headed to gods country. Anyone going to Trenary next week for the outhouse races? The whole Johnson crew of Linden are headed up to see grandma and grandpa Johnson and all the aunts and uncles too. If you see the little blue car with TINKSNO on the license plate wave a hand and smile. Thank you pasty.com crew for putting a smile on my face everyday.

By PATT HANSEN (Truetroll) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 12:43 pm:

I for one don't care if the Mighty Mac isn't the largest, longest or whatever. IT IS THE MOST BEUATIFUL. I crossed the one in Denmark about 4 years ago and it pales compared to the Mighty Mac. Not only is it much lower to the ground but it just doesn't have as nice a view or the granduer MAC has. Of course this is just my humble opinion..

By shawn (Twoyoopers) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 02:12 pm:

It looks like the UP 200 will be ending in Grand Marais tonite from what UP 200 website says. I was taking photos at the start last night and it was BRUUUTAL. This morning wasn't much better. I hope to have some images up tonite on my site lakesuperiorphoto.com

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 02:59 pm:

I'm with Patt, it is THE BRIDGE and that is all that matters. We had +4 here last night and broke the written record. We have nothing to hold heat in the winter and nothing to cool it off in the summer. FLAT FLAT FLAT. We don't have the precipitation though and that includes the prediction of Sleet. Very dry, High Fire Warnings and not enough water to put 'em out. Sun is out now. It is a beautiful picture of the bridge.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 03:25 pm:

Bruce, That was too funny...the Wego. Complete with self deploying parachutes, for those windy crossings, eh.

By dave sou (Davesou) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 04:20 pm:

Dear Mr. Musser,

I'm happy to see you're real.
I've written several emails to you over the past couple of years, none of which you had the courtesy to reply to, concerning the mine project in Painesdale and a couple of CC questions.
The bridge is awesome, but dont talk to my wife about it ... she is terrified of bridges and had the honor of being stopped right at the very top for some repair work that was being done. You could feel the thing swaying in the breeze, plus the view was wonderful :)

By Kevin E. Musser (Copperrange) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 04:24 pm:

Dave, I always reply, what email address did you send it to? kevinmusser@copperrange.org happy to address your questions.

By scott perkins (Scotty) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 04:29 pm:

I get a different view these days, have gone under quite a few times now and it is always different as there is a pretty good current running just under the bridge.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 06:17 pm:


By Glad to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 06:43 pm:


By james f. haven (Technoido) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 08:01 pm:

Yeah, I think it was a Bronco, didn't want to mention brand
names. Course it's not always the vehicles fault, usually the nut
holding onto the steering wheel, as opposed to the nut holding
the steering wheel on. Oops, not PC.
My wife was absolutely terrified of crossing the bridge, but did it
once. I, in the lead car, held a camera out the window pointed
backwards and actually got a shot of her. This last summer I
turned the wheel over to my 17 year old daughter, when we got
to St. Ignace, so she could have the fun of driving the bridge. On
my second trip back last summer, there was long long stoppage
about the middle, several very wide modulars were coming
through and needed 3 of 4 lanes. A whole bunch of people got
out and started walking around. Nervously at first, cuz we
thought maybe the cops holding traffic back would bust us, but
they were cool about it. Fantastic experience. Have never done
the Labor Day Walk. My mother did when she was in her 70s.

By Linda Ledford (Linda) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 08:50 pm:

I used to live in St Petersburg Florida and had occasion to cross the Sunshine Skyway bridge (the old bridge that was hit by a ship in the late 70's) over Tampa Bay quite often. We went down to visit some relatives not long ago & took a trip across the new version of the Skyway. It is a very long bridge, but very modern looking with string like cables. I have never found a bridge that approaches the beauty of the Mighty Mac except for maybe the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. I would have to say that bridge is a very close second to our Beauty between Troll Land and Paradise.

By Charlotte, Mishawaka, IN (Charlotte61) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:36 pm:

Good evening from Mishawaka, IN a very cold Mishawaka. Love the picture of the Big Mac. When we are heading north on 75 and make that curve where you get your first view of the bridge I just can't believe I've finally made it back to the UP.

By Catherine--Holland MI (Catherine) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 09:40 pm:

I have been over both the Mac and the Golden Gate bunches of times as I've lived in both places and I think the Golden Gate is prettier, but too short! I like being able to look down through the grates on the Mac with my head out the window.

By Vincent Vega (Theoneandonlyk‚) on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:24 pm:

The sunshine skyway bridge is a "Cable Stay" bridge.
Beautiful piece of engineering, but it is not a "suspension" bridge as is the Mighty Mac.

By Ed (Ironton) on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 08:34 am:

I'm a day late here - and this will be my first post after a long life of lurking.
The discussion on bridge length reminded me of a graphic that compared suspension bridges. I searched and found it on a Great Lakes Information network page here: http://www.great-lakes.net/teach/history/macbridge/mac_3.html
Click the comparison image halfway down at the right.
Another suspension bridge story I recall being fascinated with was the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I remember video of the collapse due to high winds and of someone (an engineer?) walking out as it swayed in the wind. This lead engineers to include the dreaded grating in the Big Mac roadbed. It equalizes the wind pressure above and below the deck so it wonít act like the wing on a plane.

By dave sou (Davesou) on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 05:10 pm:

Here's another beauty, the Newport Bridge, now called the Claiborne Pell bridge.
I've been over that one a bunch of times. Its pretty high

<img src="http://www.dave-so2.com/newportbridge.gif"

by the way, how do you get images in here?
Just use this to see the image of the bridge or read the story below

Here's the history if anyone is interested

AND MY APOLOGIES TO KEVIN MUSSER FOR GOING OFF ON HIM A BIT>it was uncalled for, but we have now communicated.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 08:06 pm:

Ed (Ironton):
"Another suspension bridge story I recall being fascinated with was the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I remember video of the collapse..."

Now I'm not sure, but that looks like you said the Verrazano Narrows Bridge -- opened in 1964 in New York -- was the one that collapsed. I'm sure you were thinking of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (a.k.a. "Galloping Gerty") in Washington state, which collapsed on November 7, 1940.

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 10:07 pm:

I love that bridge! To me, the Mighty Mac is the symbolic gateway to paradise. Lately, I've been going up there twice a year for vacations. I agree with the other posters that express joy at the first sight of the bridge while traveling northbound on I-75, or while driving off the bridge onto the U.P. rock.
I'm one of those that gets nervous crossing the bridge. I hate driving on the steel grate, but I hate driving in the rail lane even more.
My dad tells stories of crossing on the ferries while traveling to Michigan State in the days before the bridge was built. He said the lines to get across could get pretty long, and if you didn't get on a ferry before they shut down for the night, then you just slept in your car and waited for them to start running again in the morning.

By Ed (Ironton) on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 06:32 pm:

FRNash -
You are correct. Guess I had my narrows confused. Thanks for the correction.

By Thea Wagner (Tkelwag) on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 11:55 am:

Sorry, but I don't think the Golden Gate Bridge even compares.

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