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State lawmakers discuss security threats to Mackinac Bridge

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are concerned about potential security threats against the Mackinac Bridge.

Two incidents in recent months raised questions about potential security risks. In one, a man entered off-limits parts of the bridge. In another, a bomb threat shut down the Mackinac Bridge for several hours.

Lt. Colonel Chris Kelenske is Deputy Director at the Michigan State Police and commander of MSP’s Homeland Security Division.

He said agencies are conducting an assessment of potential security issues.

“We cannot fully eliminate risk. We can only manage risk,” Kelenske told the state House Transportation Committee on Tuesday. “But it’s constantly changing and evolving.”

At the legislative hearing, state lawmakers talked about increasing penalties for trespassing on the Mackinac Bridge. 

Also at Tuesday’s hearing, state lawmakers from the Upper Peninsula asked that they be informed if the Mackinac Bridge is forced to close for any reason, since it is the main link between Michigan’s two peninsulas.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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