STRAITS OF MACKINAC, Mich. (WJMN) – After 30,000 people crossed the Mackinac Bridge by foot on Labor Day in 2019, the annual event came to a halt in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns. After Tuesday’s Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) meeting, plans are still moving forward for the event in 2021.
In the MI Vacc to Normal plan, Step 4 is for is for those 16 and older to have their first COVID-19 vaccine plus two weeks. At that point, gathering limits will be lifted and mask protocols will be taken off. To have a crowd of 30,000, that’s where the MBA says the state would have to be to make the walk happen.
“Prior to this morning’s board meeting, the bridge walk has always been on the books. It was scheduled for this year. The board took no action at the meeting related to that so the bridge walk is still scheduled for Labor Day 2021,” said Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Authority, Kim Nowack. “They agreed to keep looking at the Vacc to Normal metrics as we go forward and the rates of infection with COVID-19 and maybe have to revisit it at some point in the future if the metrics aren’t going the way we’d like them to go.”
Nowack said during the meeting there were more than 50 comments submitted to the board through email, all in favor of the bridge walk. With no motions made against the bridge walk, the attention now turns to planning.
“We do a lot of planning amongst ourselves at the bridge authority. Then many many local law enforcement folks come together for this including the Coast Guard, EMS, fire departments, police department, and Michigan State Police is a key all that so we’ll start planning now ordering supplies. Ordering buses for the State Police, ordering lodging and all kinds of things like that will start happening,” said Nowack.
The next MBA Board meeting is set for July 9, 2021. Nowack says they may or may not talk about the board walk during that meeting. “If everything’s going right with vaccinations and everything, it will just go on as normal. If something goes south, we have to discuss it at the meeting or hold a special meeting before that.
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