A Labor Day salute to the Mackinac Island Bridge builders

This weekend, we floated under and later drove over the magnificent Mackinac Island Bridge.

The structure, which spans five miles and was at one time the longest suspension bridge in the world, stands as an excellent tribute to the fortitude of the American worker.

At least 3,500 workers and 350 engineers spent 48 months building the bridge over the Straits of Mackinac, a deep, turbulent stretch of water that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

Imagine the courage it took, back in 1954 to pack your lunch and head to work on a project that, by design, sways in the wind, suspended 200 feet above one of the most dangerous straits in the world.

All over this great country of ours, men and women take similar risks as a matter of course. They mine coal, pilot airplanes, climb electric poles, repair roofs, fight fires, drive trucks, fish, weld and farm. The work as police officers, soldiers, electricians, mechanics and construction equipment operators.

Here’s to them all.

And, here’s to Frank Pepper, James R. LeSarge, Albert Abbott, Jack C. Baker, and Robert Koppen, who lost their lives during the construction of the great Mackinac Island Bridge, and to the 3,495 other people who mourned them, and then climbed back on that bridge to finish the job.

Happy Labor Day and may God Bless the American Worker.

I love this picture I took from the Shepler Ferry Saturday morning as we made our way to Mackinac Island. I think it celebrates American ingenuity and fortitude.
I also love this shot of the bridge’s underbelly, courtesy of my travel (and life) companion Vince, who also took the picture from the Shepler Ferry.
Same view from the other side.




6 thoughts on “A Labor Day salute to the Mackinac Island Bridge builders

  1. We spent a day on Mackinac Island one year on the way back to my home in northeastern Ohio. Had a wonderful time biking around the Island (no cars allowed). Then the next day traveled on the Mavkinac Bridge. Just a light breeze and that bridge starts to sway. Oooooooh!

  2. My husband is from Ohio and was on the bridge when he was 13 on a family vacation doing a circle trip to Canada. He said they took the ferry to Mackinac Island and did a carriage ride tour on the island. At that time, no cars were allowed on the island..

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