Mackinac Bridge, United States
For years, many said it was unfeasible or perhaps madness to get the Mackinac bridge built. Back then, the idea of a roadway across the Straits of Mackinac was simply scandalously expensive and architecturally inconceivable. Though the bridge opened in 1957 after three years construction and is still proudly standing above lake Michigan whilst connecting the state’s two peninsulas.
The design of the Bridge was directly influenced by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (Washington), which collapsed in 1940 because of its instability in high winds. But don’t worry, deep stiffening trusses and an open-grid roadway have been incorporated into the design of the Mackinac Bridge to make it stronger and a similar incident can’t (in theory) occur. Five men died during the bridge construction, a fact that’s as remarkable as it is tragic, given the dangers of the work site and the difficult weather conditions the workers had to face.
You’ll certainly want to check the weather forecast before planning to cross the bridge, as it often closes due to violent winds and storms. However, as far as we know, only two vehicles have ever plunged from the bridge to the Straits of Mackinac, one in 1989, due to excessive speed and one in 1997, which was classified as a suicide. The weather conditions are closely monitored by the state of Michigan to preserve the crosser’s safety and they seem to do a good job at it. How would you feel about crossing that bridge?