Mackinac Bridge Authority reminds drivers of increased traffic, maintenance on the bridge

Mackinac Bridge file photo
Posted at 9:24 AM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-06 13:40:14-04

(WXYZ) — As we head into the summer season, the Mackinac Bridge Authority is warning drivers about maintenance work and more traffic.

According to the MBA, the maintenance staff is often out on the bridge deck replacing pieces of the original decking, repairing deck joints, cleaning off winter grit and replacing sections of the curb and rebuilding some bridge joints this fall.

"Like with road work and maintenance anywhere else in northern Michigan, the season for taking care of the Mackinac Bridge coincides with the peak of tourism travel," said MBA Chief Bridge Engineer Cole Cavalieri. "We do our best to minimize delays due to our work, and remove lane closures for holidays and peak traffic periods whenever possible."

Usually, traffic is at its highest from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on northbound lanes on Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for southbound lanes on Sunday.

The MBA said even with all toll booths open, the sheer volume of traffic exceeds the capacity of the toll workers.

"Our toll workers always do the best they can to get drivers through the booths as quickly as possible," said MBA Operations Manager Mike Buby. "We just ask that customers be patient, particularly at the busiest times."

Also, the MBA is reminding drivers to stay safe while crossing the bridge and focus on driving.

"Better than anyone, we know the views of the Straits of Mackinac are tempting, but we need customers to focus their attention on driving," said MBA Maintenance Supervisor Joe Shampine. "Drivers also need to slow down on the bridge, particularly around our work zones. Excessive speeds or just a second of inattention could result in a terrible tragedy."