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Mackinac Bridge closed to cars during annual Labor Day walk

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas
flickr user Always Shooting

The Mackinac Bridge will be closed to most vehicle traffic the morning of Labor Day. The bridge authority made that decision today. Their concern was the risk of a terrorist attack on the Labor Day bridge walk, which attracts thousands of people.

The decision means no vehicles will be allowed to cross the bridge from 6:30 a.m. to noon except for busses and emergency vehicles.

“More personnel are needed to respond with appropriate levels of force to mitigate any threats if, in fact, that does occur,” said Chris Kelenske, commander of the Homeland Security Division of the Michigan State Police.

State and federal homeland security officials say other open-air events around the world have been targets. They say Islamic groups are encouraging homegrown terrorists carry out their own actions. But the officials say no specific threat in Michigan has been identified.

“This is the greatest threat we face in Michigan. But let me be clear, at this time, there are no credible known threats in Michigan to this event or to any other events we have in our state.” 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.