Completed in 1957, the Mackinac Straits Bridge is featured on U.S. #1109. It connects the Upper and Lower Michigan peninsulas. The bridge is an engineering marvel that runs for seven miles across the Straits. In 2010, the Mackinac Straits Bridge was also pictured on U.S. #4438.
Mackinac Bridge, 150,000,000 Vehicles Later
The Mackinac Bridge towers 200 feet above the windswept waters of Lakes Huron and Michigan. “Mighty Mac” extends 5 miles across the Straits of Mackinac to link Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
Before the bridge opened in 1957, travelers waited in long lines to cross the channel by ferry or drove all the way around Lake Michigan and through Wisconsin to get to the other side. The Mackinac Bridge shortened the trip to a ten-minute drive and opened the Upper Peninsula to tourism – adding an estimated $100 million a year to Michigan’s tourist trade.
Bridge designers took special precautions for Michigan’s severe winter weather. Grated openings between the center lanes improve airflow and prevent the road deck from being pushed up by strong winds. During high winds, the road deck can also move up to 35 feet from side to side to keep the bridge from buckling.
Some drivers are uncomfortable crossing the Mighty Mac. Bridge personnel call these commuters “timmies,” because they are too timid to drive across. The bridge authority provides them with a chauffeur at no extra fee. On September 6, 2009, the 150 millionth vehicle crossed the Mackinac Bridge.
On the stamp a ship is depict, the designer of the stamp Mr. Arnold J. Copeland gives. The design of the Mackinac Bridge stamp is made up of sketches drawn from many photo’s. The view of the bridge was taken from one of Dr. Steenman’s sketches. I placed a “composite” ore boat (Great Lake bulker) under the span to scale the bridge, the one color problem called for a white ship of the Ford type (most probably a great lake bulker who carried iron ore to the Ford auto factories) but it is “made up” and not from a specific photo.
USA 1957 3c sg?, scott1109 and 2010 sg?, scott4438 (It looks that the designer of the newer stamp has used the same ship sailing under the bridge.)
Source: http://www.mysticstamp.com/viewProducts.asp?sku=1109 Watercraft Philately 1958 page 10.
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