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Before the Mackinac Bridge was constructed, travelers between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas had to cross the Straits via an hour-long ferry ride. Today, the Mackinac Bridge is hailed as one of the most outstanding engineering achievements of the century and leaves people wondering how Michigan ever got along without it!On busy weekends, like the start of hunting season or the Fourth of July holiday, carloads of anxious travelers would wait in line as long as 24 hours to catch a ferry. Steinman and primary construction firms were Merrit-Chapman & Scott and the American Bridge Division of U. The 100 millionth crossing of the bridge happened on June 25, 1998.When the foundation pillars were finished, the iron workers were brought in to string the massive cabling network! When finished, the cables were close to 25 inches in diameter.Each cable consists of 340 wires banded into a single strand; 37 strands are then assembled into a single cable.To complete the job and add extra strength, a covering is spun around each finished cable.More than 42,000 miles of wire were used in the two main bridge cables! The inner lane on the middle span of the bridge includes an open grid riding surface.
The lighthouse contains the restored keeper's quarters and hands-on exhibits throughout the fully-accessible first floor.Today Mackinaw City retains the "aw" spelling while the bridge, straits and island steadfastly cling to the "ac" spelling.No matter how it is spelled, however, it is always pronounced Mackinaw! ) above the Straits of Mackinac, where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet, is the world-famous Mackinac Bridge.Also known as the "Mighty Mac," this engineering marvel is 5 miles long anchor block to anchor block.It held the record as the longest suspension bridge in the world for half a century!