Crews make annual springtime repairs to Mackinac Bridge

Associated Press

St. Ignace — Crews are making annual springtime repairs to the Mackinac Bridge as traffic starts to pick up ahead of Michigan’s summer tourism season.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority says steeplejacks, who climb out onto the bridge’s cables and beams, are inspecting the bridge for any winter damage. They’re looking for steel grating that needs reinforcement and deck joints that have been damaged by snowplows.

Spot painting and concrete patching are planned at the bridge. Crews also are sweeping up sand that’s accumulated on the causeway and bridge over the winter. Sand is used instead of road salt at the bridge to help keep the driving surface safe during winter months.

Traffic typically peaks at the roughly 5-mile-long bridge connecting Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas in August.