Based on the success of last year's event, the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) will again start the 2019 Annual Bridge Walk from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, eliminating the need for busing and offering additional options for participants.
A video, posted on the MBA website at www.mackinacbridge.org/walk, explains the bridge walk schedule and the choices people will have whether they start from the north or south end of the bridge.
"Despite initial concerns people expressed about the big changes prior to the walk last year, after the event we heard so many supportive comments about the new arrangements," said Kim Nowack, interim executive secretary of the MBA. "Overall the event went so smoothly that it made sense to continue those changes for this year's walk."
Walkers essentially have three main options, outlined in the video:
- Starting from either end of the bridge and walking toward the center, turning around at the midpoint and returning to the city they started from, where their transportation is located. The turnaround points will move toward the ends of the bridge beginning at 10 a.m., but walkers can walk at least a portion of the bridge if they start by 11:30 a.m.
- Walking the entire length of the bridge starting from either end. Those who choose this option must reach the midpoint before 10 a.m. or they will be turned back. Anyone who walks the entire bridge must arrange their own transportation back to the side they started once the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon.
- Crossing the bridge, starting from either end, and then turning around and walking back to the side they started from. In this option, walkers will need to cross the midpoint on their return trip by 10 a.m. or they will be turned back and need to find their own transportation back across the bridge after it reopens at noon.
As in 2018, because walkers can start from either end of the bridge when they arrive, there will be no buses transporting participants across the bridge.
The bridge will again be closed to public traffic during the 2019 walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Labor Day, Sept. 2, based on recommendations from the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Emergency vehicles will still be permitted to cross the bridge, but no public vehicles until the walk concludes and participants are off the bridge.
Drivers asked to be alert for potential pavement problems, traffic slow-downs, and to Move Over for roadside workers including highway repair crews
- Ensure all vehicle occupants are buckled up. Slow down, eliminate distractions and scan the road ahead carefully.
- Watch for slowing traffic and be ready to move over for all roadside workers including highway crews as they repair damaged pavement.
- Before your trip, check the 511 Travel Information system (www.511wi.gov) for the latest on any incidents or delays.
- Report serious pavement issues by calling 911. Be ready to provide specific location information.
First event May 11 at The Promenade Bolingbrook for free child safety seats checks and kids’ ID cards
The Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 are teaming up to host their annual Kids Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.) events as part of Operation Kid 2019.
The Tollway and District 15 have worked together in partnership to promote child safety for more than 15 years, each year holding events throughout Northern Illinois to provide free kids’ ID cards and inspect and install child safety seats. In 2018, Operation Kid helped families and caregivers with nearly 540 child safety seats checks and issued nearly 1,000 kids’ ID cards to parents.
“Our mission is to keep children safe and parents worry-free, every trip, every time,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “The safety of motorists and their families is a top priority for the Tollway and Operation Kid gives us the opportunity to help parents keep their children safe on the road and in their communities.”
Illinois law requires that all children under age 8 must be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system when riding in a vehicle with family or other caregivers. In addition, as of January 1, 2019, children under age 2 years are required by Illinois law to ride rear-facing, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches tall, to protect their developing muscles and bones.
Properly installed child safety seats save lives and significantly reduce injuries in the event of a crash. Yet, Illinois State Police find that more than 90 percent of child safety seats they inspect are improperly installed.
“Operation Kid offers a convenient way for drivers to make sure they’re complying with Illinois law,” said District 15 Acting Commander Dominic Chiappini. “The safest place for infants, toddlers and young children to ride is in the back seat with the appropriate child safety seat for their age and weight.”
2019 K.I.S.S. Events
To make it easy and fun for parents, grandparents and children alike, 10 K.I.S.S. events will be held at convenient locations at various locations along the 294-mile Illinois Tollway system.
Operation Kid 2019 events kick off on Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Promenade Bolingbrook, 631 E. Boughton Road along the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355). Highlights include:
- Free identification cards for children ages 3 and older and child safety seat inspections and installations
- Touch-a-truck display featuring hands-on exploration of a Tollway H.E.L.P. truck, snowplow and local emergency vehicles.
- Kids indoor and outdoor play areas, including an inflatable slide.
Unless otherwise indicated, all other events are on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
|May 18||Hinsdale Oasis|
|June 1||Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview|
|June 8||Lake Forest Oasis|
|July 27||Bartlett Police Department (Thursday, 8 a.m. to noon)|
|August 3||Itasca Fire Protection District|
|August 10||Children’s Museum of Oak Lawn|
|August 24||DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville|
|September 21||Family Safety Fair at Tollway headquarters in Downers Grove|
|September 28||IKEA Schaumburg|
For more information about Operation Kid 2019 and to see additional activities at each event, visit the Tollway’s website.
Child Safety Seat Basics
The safest place for infants, toddlers and young children to ride is in the back seat with the appropriate child safety seat for their age and weight.
Rear-facing child safety seats protect a growing baby’s head, neck and back in an accident. Toddlers and young children should ride in a child safety seat with an internal harness until age 8 or they reach the maximum harness limit of the child restraint.
A booster seat is the most effective way to position a safety belt properly on a young child's growing body. Safety belts are designed for adults who are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Until age 8, most children have not developed strong hip bones and their legs and bodies are too short for the adult safety belt to fit correctly without use of a booster seat.
Illinois law requires that whenever a person is transporting a child under age 8, the person is responsible for properly securing the child in an appropriate child restraint system.
Missing Child Basics
Information provided on kids ID cards can help law enforcement search and recover a missing child. That includes a description of the child’s hair and eye color, height, weight, race, unique identifiers such as glasses or beauty marks, as well as date of birth, current photo and fingerprints.
The FBI suggests that parents keep their children’s fingerprints, not only because fingerprints are unique but also because they don’t change over time like a child’s appearance. The FBI also recommends that parents update the photos of their children on ID cards at least once a year to ensure they are current.
With increased public awareness, training, laws and better technology, the recovery rate of missing children has jumped from 62 percent in 1990 to more than 97 percent today, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Keep Us Alive Drive 45 is our commitment to keep workers and motorists safe in work zones. Each year, many people are killed in construction zone accidents, both commuters and workers. Please abide the posted speed limit in work zones. When workers are present, it's 45 M.P.H. - It's The Law.
Join us in our pledge to increase awareness and promote safe driving in our work zones by displaying an orange ribbon. Together we can make our roadways a safer place to commute and work. With your help, we can see to it that a construction zone is not an end zone.