|After more than 70
years of dreams, with many different plans for bridging the Straits of
Mackinac, ground breaking to build the Mackinac Bridge took place
in St. Ignace on May 7, 1954 and Mackinaw City on May 8. The photos on
this page are from slides taken by my father, Lester Stokes, who lived
less than a block from the foot of the Mackinac Bridge in Mackinaw City,
and worked on the State Dock which served the automobile ferries until
November 1, 1957, when the Mackinac Bridge opened and ferry service was
discontinued. Most of his photos were accidentally lost a few years ago,
but these few weren't stored with the others.
Construction of the Mackinac Bridge began with the construction
of the pillars. Caissons were constructed, floated into position and sunk
to provide the footings for the two immense towers which would suspend
the center span of the bridge. Once the caissons were in place, creeper
derricks were added, which raised materials to erect the towers and continued
to climb higher.
The Mackinac Bridge roadway truss sections were assembled
in sections and floated into position to be raised into place.
Constructing the Mackinac Bridge actually went on into
1958 and took 48 months, 3,500 workers, 895,000 blueprints & structural
drawings, 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 and
99,800,000 dollars. There were 350 engineers and another 7,500 men &
women worked at quarries, shops, mills and other locations.
When completed, the Mackinac Bridge was the longest suspension
bridge in the world and it is currently the longest suspension bridge in
North & South America and the third longest suspension bridge in the
Mackinac Bridge home
Mackinac Bridge groundbreaking 50th Anniversary
50th Anniversary of opening the Mackinac Bridge