Memorial Day, nice weather and stay-at-home orders relaxed means increase in Mackinac Bridge traffic

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ST. IGNACE, Mich. (WJMN) – Last weekend, as weather improved and stay-at-home orders relaxed, the Mackinac Bridge saw an uptick in traffic and delays – and some impatience from customers.

As on a typical weekend, northbound traffic was particularly heavy on Friday between 2 and 6 p.m., along with heavy southbound traffic Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the Mackinac Bridge Authority’s (MBA) temporary restriction on cash transaction slowed toll payments, resulting in some traffic backups.

“To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we stopped taking cash payments in mid-March. While credit cards take only a few seconds longer to process, that delay adds up during traffic peaks,” said MBA Executive Secretary Kim Nowack. “This change helps keep customers and our staff safe, and we ask that customers be patient and kind to our employees who are just trying to do their jobs during this stressful time”

Customers might also consider crossing the bridge at other times to avoid peak traffic. Traffic is expected to increase this weekend as well, particularly on Memorial Day for southbound traffic.

Until further notice, Mackinac Bridge customers will need to pay with a credit or debit card, or use a MacPass card or windshield sticker. If drivers wish to pay with credit or debit cards, the toll collector will hold the credit card device out to the driver so they can insert their card. Drivers will not need to hand their cards to the toll collector. Other payment types on phones, including Google Pay and Apple Pay, also are accepted.

Information on this new payment policy is posted on the MBA website,, and on the toll plaza marquee.

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