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Thousands to walk across Mackinac Bridge, as MSU professor plans to put sensors beneath

Sep 4, 2016

Tomorrow, up to 40,000 people will take part in the annual Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge.

Bridge Authority CEO Bob Sweeney says the view from the bridge on foot is spectacular.

“It’s a perfect opportunity to take in the scenery of the Straits of Mackinac,” says Sweeney, “You get some beautiful scenery of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.”

This is the 59th year of the five-mile bridge walk.

The 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan's two peninsulas is the third-longest suspension bridge in the world. 

A Michigan State University engineering professor plans to install sensors on the Mackinac Bridge to monitor stress on the aging structure.

 Professor Nizar Lajnef tells the Lansing State Journal the stress sensors that will be placed on the bridge later this month are a test of a project he's been working on for seven years with funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

A recent grant of $1.5 million to MSU, Washington University at St. Louis and the University of Nevada-Reno will put sensor prototypes in place at several spots around the country. He says if it works, the stress sensors could become commonplace on structures around the country.