Possible changes in store for Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

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Lansing, MI (WILX) The decades-long tradition of walking across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day could be changing.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority will talk about a few proposed changes during two meetings this week. All options include a full closure of the bridge like this year.

One option would be starting the walk from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City. Walkers would start the walk from either point-- and then turn around when they get halfway. They would also have the option of walking across the whole bridge and turn around--- or make their own transportation arrangements to get back to the side the started on.

Option number two would flip the direction-- starting in Mackinaw City. The walk alternated directions every year until 1965. The MAB says 80% of walkers arrive from the south side.

Option three would keep things as they are--- except add a new bus loading area to maximize transportation efficiency. Many people were turned away at this year's walk-- because they weren't able to board the buses in time.

"The 2017 walk was successful in keeping walkers safe and avoiding extensive traffic backups while the bridge was closed, but many people were not able to participate," said MBA Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney. "We've heard many comments and suggestions from people throughout Michigan on how to improve the walk, and we've incorporated several of those in these proposed options."

There's also talk of moving the walk from the actual Labor Day holiday to Saturday or Sunday of Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend or another weekend in the spring or summer.

The MBA will consider the proposed options during two meetings in Mackinaw City Wednesday and Thursday. A public meeting for Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Mackinaw City to discuss future options. The authority's board meets Thursday.
We'll keep you posted if anything does change.

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