Inspectors Clear Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge as Safe After it Was Hit by Crane

May 23, 2023

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) – A crane being towed on a barge hit the main span of the Mackinac Bridge, although an official says inspectors found no significant damage to the span linking the Michigan’s lower and upper peninsulas.

The incident happened May 7 to the 5-mile-long (8-kilometer-long) span when the barge passed under the bridge over the Straits of Mackinac. The barge operator didn’t realize it had happened until later finding substantial damage to the crane, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Tyler Carlsgaard told WWTV/WWUP-TV.

Engineers have since inspected the bridge several times where it was struck on the main span that rises about 150 feet (45 meters) above the shipping channel, according to the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

“There was evidence that the bridge had been struck, paint had been knocked off. Some of the structural steel had been scraped, but not to a degree that would be of a structural concern,” bridge authority spokesman James Lake said.

Coast Guard investigators were still trying to determine what led up to the bridge being struck, Carlsgaard said.

The bridge authority is working the state attorney general’s office to have the transport company pay for repair work, Lake said.

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