The Mackinac Bridge is now the world's third longest complex suspension bridge. Its total length is 5 miles between the cities of St. Ignace, Michigan and Mackinaw City, Michigan and connects the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It cost $44,532,900 to build and 5 men died in the construction. However, the suspension section of the bridge (between Main Towers) 3,800 feet, which is far short of the world's longest suspension span, currently held by Japan's Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge with a center span (between Main Towers) of 6,532 feet (1,991 meters)
Before the bridge was built, the only way to cross the Mackinac Straits which divides the two peninsulas of Michigan was by ferry. Inspired by completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, real public debate on the possibility of a Michigan bridge began in the early 1880s. In 1934 the Michigan Legislature created the Mackinac Straits Bridge Authority of Michigan to study the possibility of building a bridge over the straits. A floating tunnel as well as a bridge that connected many of the small islands in the straits were considered for a time. Due to lack of funds and two wars, construction of the bridge did not begin until May 7, 1954. The bridge opened to traffic on November 1, 1957.
The Mackinac Bridge is currently a toll bridge.
Every Labor Day the Mackinac Bridge Walk is held. Two of the lanes of the bridge are closed to traffic and open to walkers.