Google trekker captures fascinating vistas of the Mighty Mac in Michigan
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
I crossed the Mackinac Bridge many times over the last two decades. I never walked it during the annual Labor Day walk, and I haven’t been to the top of the masts or below the bridge. I am afraid of open heights, and I don’t know if the Mackinac Bridge Authority would let me climb up there.
But, other than the top or below the bridge, I’ve taken photos of it from just about any angle including from a ferry to Mackinac Island, from both shores of Upper and Lower peninsulas. The bridge is so magnificent that you get a clear view of it from the island.
And here is what Google did.
Google trekker provides fascinating vistas on the featured photo above from one of the Mackinac Bridge’s masts. Volunteers climbed through the trunk in the mast much like in a submarine to the top with the 40-pound Google trekker device. They walked around with the device on their backs, while 15 lenses in the globe of the device took fascinating shots of the Mackinac Bridge and the area, as presented in a video “Pure Michigan.”
Below are traditional photos of the five-mile long Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan by Emma Palova.
The last time I crossed the bridge was in November of 2014 as the first snow fell on the bridge deck. The ride across the five-mile long bridge is creepy, and many drivers take the service offered by the bridge authority, even truck drivers. Bridge drivers will take you across.
If there are high winds, the bridge gets closed.
Here are some bridge facts from mackinac.com
The bridge was designed by the great engineer David B. Steinman and opened on November 1, 1957. The structure took 48 months to complete with over 3, 500 workers and $99,800,000 dollars. Also know as the “Big Mac” or the “Mighty Mac”, the bridge stretches 8,614 feet making it the fourth longest suspension bridge in the world. With a total span of about 5 miles, the Mackinac Bridge connects the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan uniting the communities of Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, Michigan. The main bridge cables are made from 42,000 miles of wire and the towers stand 554 feet above the water and 210 feet below to the bedrock. The engineering of the Mackinac Bridge was designed to accommodate the high winds, temperature changes and constant changes of weight. In severe conditions the deck at center span could move up to 35 feet. Under more subtle conditions, the deck could move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the winds.
Fun bridge construction facts
* 89,000 blueprints and structural drawings were made
* 71,300 tons of structural steel
* 931,000 tons of concrete
* 42,000 miles of cable wire
* 4,851,700 steel rivets
* 1,016,600 steel bolts
* 350 engineers
* 522 feet tall
* 1,024,500 tons in total weight
* 7,500 men and women that worked in quarries, shops, mills
* 1951 Chevrolet Styleine Deluxe owned by Albert Carter was the first car to cross the Mackinac Bridge
The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk is held every year on Labor Day. Two lanes of traffic are closed and 50-80,000 people, all led by the Governor of Michigan walk together over the bridge. Bicycles are prohibited on the Mackinac Bridge, however the Big Mac Shoreline tour is held in June and September, which takes its participants for a trip over the bridge. During the summer months, the Mackinac Bridge has become a major diverse tourist destination for bridge enthusiasts, bird-watchers and photographers.
Bridge fares begin at $2 per axle and increase from there. Fares are subject to change without notice.