Mackinac Bridge climber could face federal charges

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COURTESY: Mackinac Bridge Authority

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan State Police said the person responsible for illegally climbing the Mackinac Bridge in early November could face felony charges of trespassing at a key transportation facility.

Mackinac Bridge Authority staff learned of photos posted on social media, apparently shot from the top of one of the bridge towers. They then reviewed an incident where an alarm was activated on the bridge. Staff investigated the alarm, but could not figure out how it was activated. When another alarm was activated several hours later, they saw someone leaving the bridge. Area police were called to investigate but the person could not be found.

“This is not a harmless stunt; it’s inexcusably reckless,” said MBA Executive Secretary Kim Nowack in a news release on Wednesday. “This individual risked not only his own life but also the lives of those crossing the bridge beneath him, and would have threatened the safety of emergency personnel and Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) staff had a rescue been needed.”

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Paul C. Ajegba, a member of the MBA, underscored the need for a thorough examination of security protocols.

“It is very troubling that someone would put their own life at risk not to mention that of others just for photos and thrills on our state’s signature bridge,” Ajegba said. “While the Michigan State Police continue their investigation, I have also asked the MDOT employees at the bridge to conduct a thorough review and implement measures to prevent future incursions.”

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