The Mackinac Bridge, USA

The Mackinac Bridge

The Mackinac Bridge (pronounced MACK-in-aw, and affectionately known as the “Mighty Mac” or “Big Mac”), is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous upper and lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Envisioned since the 1880s, the bridge was completed only after many decades of struggles to begin construction. Designed by the engineer David B. Steinman, it connects the cities of St. Ignace on the north end with Mackinaw City on the south.

The bridge opened on November 1, 1957, and a year later was formally dedicated as “the world’s longest suspension bridge between anchorages”. This designation was chosen because the bridge would not be the world’s largest using the customary way of measuring suspension bridges, the length of the center span between the towers — that title already belonged to the Golden Gate Bridge, which has a longer center span. By saying “between anchorage”, the bridge could be considered longer than the Golden Gate Bridge, and also longer than the suspended western section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (That bridge has a longer total suspension, but is a double bridge with an anchorage in the middle.)

The Mackinac Bridge is still the longest two tower suspension bridge between anchorages in the western hemisphere, but has fallen to third longest world-wide. The combined length of the three spans of the bridge (including anchorages) is 8,614 feet (2,626 m). In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan became the longest with a total suspension of 12,826 feet (3,909 m).

The length of main span is 3,800 feet (1,158 meters), which makes it the third largest suspension span in the USA and tenth largest worldwide.

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