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You don't always have to cross that bridge when you come to it. In Michigan, if you've reached the Mackinac Bridge and suddenly found your foot trembling on the accelerator, you can simply pull over and make a phone call for help. In short order, an employee of the Mackinac Bridge Authority will arrive and take over driving duties for you.
The bridge is an imposing structure, stretching high over the 5-mile (8-km) span between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, so it's no surprise that some folks would rather not have to steer across.
Ned McLennan, maintenance supervisor of the authority, said calls come in on a steady basis, and substitute drivers are available 24 hours a day for any type of vehicle, from big truck to motorcycle. McLennan added that while many people will sit in the passenger seat as they are are driven across the bridge, others aren't so brave. "Some people curl up in a little ball and put their head down," he said. The service is free, although it was temporarily suspended in March 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
More on the Mackinac Bridge:
- The bridge, which opened in 1957, is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
- Under high winds, the deck at the center span of the bridge can sway 35 feet (10.7 m) either east or west.
- On typical Fourth of July weekends, more than 60,000 cars cross over the bridge.