2017-04-20 / News

Mackinac Bridge Authority To Conduct Rescue Training April 19

A rescue training exercise will take place at the Mackinac Bridge Wednesday, April 19, in preparation for the project to repaint the north tower.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority will conduct confined-space rescue training with local emergency services agencies. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., bridge staff will work with local fire departments, emergency medical services (EMS), and painting contractor Seaway Painting to prepare for the possibility that workers might need to be rescued from inside the tower as it is being painted. The training will involve rescue vehicles with activated emergency lights and personnel out on the bridge.

“There are approximately 2,500 individual ‘cells’ within each tower, the elevator is tiny, and the passages are all very tight,” said MBA Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney in a release. “Making sure the contractor and emergency services personnel are familiar with the tower interior is critical for them in planning for any unforeseen incidents.”

During the training, the bridge will have single-lane closures with traffic shifts.

Seaway Painting just started a $6.3 million project to completely strip the old paint from the north tower and repaint it with a leadfree, zinc-based paint. Work started Thursday, April 6, and is scheduled to continue through 2018.

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