Mackinac Straits Bridge – Part 2

Our family would occasionally take a boat trip to the bridge if the weather was calm. I can remember when the towers were being built. But more, I remember the next year when the catwalk was put in place. This was followed by the cable spinning operation. This is the most fun to watch. A device that looks like a collection of bicycle wheels is drawn from anchorage to anchorage by a winch. Each wheel pulls a loop of wire. Two wires per wheel. One wire is pulled off of a supply spool at the anchorage, the other is left standing still as the wheel goes by. Two wheels per trip. When the wheels get to the end, the loop tensioned, fastened to the anchorage, and another loop from that side is put on and the spinner is drawn back. That is about 5,500 round trips. I think that the spinner moved about 5 miles per hour. There was a bell that rang that warned the men on the catwalk that the spinner was coming. Quite an exciting thing to watch going on 200-400 feet overhead.

Part 1

St Ignace New Special Supplement

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