Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mackinac Bridge and Blue Moon

I opened the museum yesterday and worked a couple of hours before my friend Renee's husband, Bob, arrived.  Bob offered to volunteer and work the museum for the rest of Friday as well as Saturday so that I can attend a high school reunion.  Thank you Bob!

So I left yesterday afternoon and made the drive down to South Lyon, where I'm staying at my son's house.  Jonathan and Jessica are not here this weekend since they are camping up in Lewiston with friends and family.  Thus, I have their house to myself.  I must admit that it is like being on vacation.

It has been years since I have stopped along US2 to swim in Lake Michigan. Yesterday I didn't swim, but at least I stopped, took my shoes off, and waded in the water. It was a gorgeous day and a nice beach.

Then I continued on my way east on US2 to the Mackinac Bridge. After paying the $4.00 toll and as I drove over the bridge, I carefully snapped a few pictures, including a few with the camera facing straight up out of my car's front window.

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 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.

The width of the roadway is 54 feet. The outside lanes are 12 feet wide (2), the inside lanes are 11 feet wide (2), the center mall is 2 feet wide, and the catwalk, curb and rail width is 3 feet on each side - totaling 54 feet. The stiffening truss width in the suspended span is 68 feet wide making it wider than the roadway it supports.

The height of the roadway at mid-span is approximately 200 feet above water level. The vertical clearance at normal temperature is 155 feet at the center of the main suspension span and 135 feet at the boundaries of the 3,000 ft. navigation channel.

All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to high winds. This would only happen under severe wind conditions. The deck would not swing or "sway" but rather move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing would slowly move it back into center position.

Here are a couple of pictures of the bridge from the state web page.


After arriving at Jonathan's house, I decided to use their new swimming pool.  It is small but it is totally sweet.  I sat on the floating chair and enjoyed the Blue Moon.

Here is one of the triple agate windows I made for their house.


  1. Beautiful reminders of places I love. Last year we rode a trolley bus that runs out of Mackinaw City over the bridge with a stop at the bridgeview park on west side of the St. Ignace toll booth before returning. Trip was timed to watch the sunset as we returned. Lots of photo ops with side windows that could be dropped easily. I enjoy your blog and photos. Thank you.
    Linda, Stockbridge, MI

  2. South Lyon! What a small world, which I say because this is where I have been for the past few years. I missed this post as I was up in northern Ontario for the past week, but I thought I would mention that along those wonderful beaches I have managed to find a few agates, some jasper, moonstones, and even some unakite!